Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper investigates conversational actions accomplished by a knowing speaker who takes a non-committal epistemic stance using epistemic adverbs expressing uncertainty in Mandarin conversations. This study finds that adverbs of uncertainty such as , and , are used predominantly by knowing speakers, rather than unknowing speakers in Mandarin conversations. Moreover, most of these epistemically incongruent cases occur in sequence-initiating actions. Three most common practices are announcements involved in a request project, announcements of self-related positive news, and advice-giving actions. Adverbs of uncertainty are less frequently used by knowing speakers to take a non-committal stance in the sequence-responsive actions. A common practice observed is responses to information-seeking questions that have negative valence. Adverbs of uncertainty are adopted by knowing speakers to minimize disaffiliation caused by these dispreferred actions such as requests, self-praising of accomplishments, advice-giving, and informing with negative valence.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): conversational action; epistemic adverbs; epistemic stance
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