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4 On the Function of the Epistemic Adverbs Surely and No Doubt at the Left and Right Peripheries of the Clause

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses Beeching and Detges' research question "What are the respective roles of LP and RP for the rise of polyphonous items?" and their hypothesis that LP and RP are asymmetric. It focuses on testing the hypothesis, that items at LP are likely to be subjective, those at RP intersubjective. Discussion is based on evidence from the development of two epistemic adverbs: surely and no doubt in English. Epistemic adverbs were chosen because epistemic modality in language use is well-known to be at least partially speaker-oriented and subjective. Like other epistemic adverbs such as truly, surely and no doubt came to be used at LP and RP positions as what Biber and Finegan call "stance adverbials". For modal adverbs LP and RP are understood as preceding or following the argument structure of the clause, i. e. they are slots at the edge and "outside of" of the propositional core.

Keywords: Beeching; Detges'; epistemic adverbs; no doubt; polyphonous items; stance adverbials; surely



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