Similarly, Capone also suggests that verbs of knowledge seem to become epistemically weaker Capone whereby clitics appear to compensate this trend Capone These points might suggest that more cases of factualization phenomena need to be empirically observed before we can draw general conclusions about factualization as a general tendency of change. Nuyts , viz. Tantucci a.
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However, it is still under debate wether along a merely epistemic-modal cline of change phenomena of epistemic weakening or de-factualization have occurred at all. This work aims at extending the application of factualization theory. It will be emphasized that diachronic factualization constitutes a cognitive phenomenon which can be observed cross-linguistically.
To achieve this, the rest of this paper provides a case-study about the diachronic factualization of I suppose across the nineteenth and the twentieth century in American English. Mental verbs carrying an epistemic meaning, such as I think, I believe or I reckon are polysemous: they originally indicate a specific mental activity, i. Through time, they progressively acquire a more central argumentative use: I think P as P is my personal opinion. Concerning this point, Simon-Vandenbergen : — points out that I think in different contexts can express lack of commitment as well as certainty.
Holmes : also distinguishes between tentative and deliberative usages of I think , the former profiling a limited commitment to the truth, the latter conveying confidence and certainty cf. Nuyts : also considers that the verb to think can express either epistemic possibility or certainty. Tantucci a observes that epistemic predicates show a tendency to acquire new factual polysemies through time, viz. Interestingly while evidence suggests that factualization occurs as a widespread and unidirectional phenomenon, there is no data in the literature that might suggest cases of de-factualization, viz.
Similar to I think, I believe or I reckon , the predicate I suppose is polysemous, as it may either express epistemic inclination viz. Consider the following synchronic examples:.
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The inclinational force of the utterance in 6 is constructionally made explicit through the employment of the modal might, which is adopted to markedly suspend the factuality of P cf. Narrog , a , b , , ; Tantucci a.
This is due to the felicitous co-occurrence of I suppose with the predicate absolutely, the latter inherently expressing epistemic result. To better explain, it is generally agreed that presuppositions semantically encode factuality. They correspond to an implicit assumption about the world or background belief relating to an utterance whose truth is taken for granted in discourse Stalnaker , , ; Tantucci b.
A presupposition refers a proposition Q the factuality of which is taken for granted by the producer of an utterance and which must be known and taken account of for the utterance to make sense to an interpreter cf.
Cruse : ; Fetzer : Presuppositions instantiate through specific constructions, which in the literature are generally referred to as presupposition triggers PT cf. Stalnaker , , ; Delogu ; Huang ; Fetzer PT formally correspond to constructional instantiations of a presupposed element Q: i.
In the cases of 6 and 7 above, the cleft-sentences his cramp was due to P and the reason I must marry is that P both presuppose Q as a fact, respectively: he had cramps and I must marry. However, while in the case of 7 a presupposition is logically allowed, in the case of 6 the factual meaning expressed through the presupposition his cramp was due to P is not epistemically consistent with the previous inclinational construction I suppose he might have had cramp.
As a result of this, it can be concluded that the degree of subjectified factuality of an epistemic predicate i. I suppose, I think and so on can empirically tested by looking at whether P may be subsequently presupposed as a fact. What is of interest for the present analysis is to assess the degree of co-occurrence of an epistemic predicate of weak certainty i.
To demonstrate this on a quantitative level, I consulted the diachronic corpus of American English COHA and selected the most frequent adverbial co-occurrences with I suppose within a 1L-4R word-span cf. Capone on modal adverbs and discourse. Among those, I then restricted my analysis to all the adverbials conveying either an inclinational i.
The identification of inclinational vs. See 8—9 below:. Similar to the case in 6—7 , even in 8—9 above it is possible to disentangle an inclinational meaning from a result one. In fact, while in 8a the complement clause of I suppose can be subsequently presupposed as a fact, in the case of 9a the inclinational meaning of I suppose co-occurring with maybe cannot be subsequently presupposed as a factual statement. The normalized frequency per each decade of respectively result and inclinational adverbials co-occurring with I suppose is visually given in the Fig.
NF of result and inclinational adverbials co-occurring with I suppose from to As the two straight trend lines 3 encompassing the whole period suggest, result adverbials show an increasing tendency to collocate with I suppose , while the normalized co-occurrence with inclinational adverbials is slightly decreasing. What crucially emerges from the data above is that while result usages of a predicate of weak epistemicity such as I suppose are diachronically increasing, on the other hand adverbs expressing epistemic inclination do not show the same tendency. This evidence has been provided to support the diachronic unidirectional hypothesis of factualization.
Evidence suggests that factualization is a universal phenomenon, which can both be tested diachronically or during online language production. Focusing on the former, the present work supported the idea that factualization instantiates semasiologically as a form of subjectification. Main publications focusing on intersections between pragmatics, human cognition and various functions of epistemicity, typologically addressed both from a synchronic and diachronic perspective.
I would like to thank prof.
Subjectification, Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization (Topics in English Linguistics) (豆瓣)
Alessandro Capone for his enthusiasm and the dedication towards this project. Last accessed As a result, a proposition such as I suppose John is at home, I saw his car parked here would simply mean I know by deduction that he is at home. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Published online Oct Vittorio Tantucci. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Vittorio Tantucci, Email: ku. Corresponding author.
Subjectification, Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization (eBook)
Received Dec 25; Accepted Sep Abstract This work provides a case study centered on the cognitive phenomenon of factualization , viz. Background This work provides a case study centered on the cognitive phenomenon of factualization , viz. On factualization The process of factualization can be observed diachronically or during online speech production. Mom said so. The factualization of I suppose in American English Mental verbs carrying an epistemic meaning, such as I think, I believe or I reckon are polysemous: they originally indicate a specific mental activity, i. Consider the following synchronic examples: 6 well, he started playing footsie—footsie with me […].
I suppose he might have had cramp or something. The reason I must marry is that P. B: Yes, I am. The reason why I am looking for a home is P. Open in a separate window. Conclusion Evidence suggests that factualization is a universal phenomenon, which can both be tested diachronically or during online language production. Acknowledgements I would like to thank prof. Conflict monitoring and cognitive control. Psychol Rev. Dilemmas and excogitations: considerations on modality, clitics and discourse. Lingua e stile. Modal adverbs and discourse.
Pisa: ETS; The pragmatics of pronominal clitics and propositional attitudes. Intercult Pragmat. Tense, aspect and mood. In: Timothy S, editor. Language typology and syntactic description. Cambridge: CUP; A glossary of semantics and pragmatics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press; Key notions for pragmatics.