Certainty and Uncertainty in Dialogue
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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White House press briefings have the function of providing journalists with first-hand information on present activities of the US-American administration. The Press Secretary, currently Jay Carney, mainly draws on indirect reportative evidentialiy, referring to recent utterances by the President. However, owing to the often critical and persistent inquiries by investigative journalists based on counter-evidentiality, the Press Secretary frequently resorts to evasive manoeuvres. Moreover, he commonly refuses to use logical inferencing in his function as a mouthpiece of the government, since speculations might be potentially harmful when given to the press. Thus, the present paper investigates the possibilities and limitations of evidentiality in this interview genre from a discourse-analytical perspective on the basis of an online archive of transcripts.


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