Certainty and Uncertainty in Dialogue
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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The paper analyses the contribution of modal forms expressing certainty and uncertainty to the construal of a politician’s ethos. Deontic modals are considered implicit evidentials. The theoretical and methodological background of the analysis is provided by pragmatics and discourse analysis, as discourse is the main place where ethos is construed. The illustrative data are selected from a TV debate which took place in the last presidential election campaign in Romania (2009). The confrontation involved Traian Bǎsescu (TB), the President in office, running for a second term, and Crin Antonescu (CA), the president of the National Liberal Party. The differences in their strategic use of certainty and uncertainty marks define two types of ethos for the audience: an ethos of power (TB) vs. an ethos of a man of character (CA).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): epistemic asymmetry.; ethos; explicit / implicit evidentials; identity; modals
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