The use of epistemic markers as a means of hedging and boosting in the discourse of L1 and L2 speakers of Modern Greek: A corpus-based study in informal letter-writing

Lia Efstathiadi

Abstract


The paper investigates the semantic area of Epistemic Modality in Modern Greek, by means ofa corpus-based research. A comparative, quantitative study was performed between writtencorpora (informal letter-writing) of non-native informants with various language backgroundsand Greek native speakers. A number of epistemic markers were selected for furtherqualitative investigation on the grounds of their high frequency. The qualitative studyrevealed the ways epistemic markers (grammatical and lexical) are used in order to expressthe speaker’s stance while they perform a number of discourse-pragmatic functions withoutviolating the societal norms of politeness. The present study made use of the literature onEpistemic Modality, the face-management theory of politeness and the interpersonalmetadiscoursal features known as hedges and boosters.

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