Drawing on Talmy’s forthcomingThe Attention System of Language and elaborating on a series of previous studies, this paper addresses the interrelation of attention distribution, contextual modulation of meaning, and categorization issues in the area of evidentiality and epistemic modality Adopting a corpus-based approach, it will investigate how the default salience levels of evidential and epistemic semantic components in so-called epistentials (linguistic items that syncretistically represent evidential and epistemic components) can be raised, lowered, or even inhibited under the impact of immediately adjacent items that themselves associate evidential or epistemic semantic components (in combinations such as obviously certain or certainly obvious, and of ‘epistential’ adverbs with ‘epistential’ must). All the emerging attentional effects turn out to be asymmetric: the first item in the combination is seen to strengthen the less salient semantic component in the target morpheme, sometimes leading to a re-categorization of the target.
De HaanFerdinand. 2009. On the status of epistemic must. In TsangalidisAnastasios and FacchinettiRoberta (eds.) Studies in English modality. In honour of Frank Palmer261–284. Frankfurt am Main and Bern: Peter Lang.
GeeraertsDirk. 2010b. Recontextualizing grammar: Underlying trends in thirty years of Cognitive Linguistics. In TabakowskaElżbieta et al. (eds.) Cognitive Linguistics in Action: From Theory to Application and Back71–102. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter.
KehayovPetar. 2009. Interactions between grammatical evidentials and lexical markers of epistemicity and evidentiality: a case-study of Bulgarian and Estonian. In PlungianVladimir and WiemerBjörn (eds.) Lexikalische Evidenzialitäts-Marker in slavischen Sprachen165–201. München and Wien: Otto Sagner.
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LampertGünther and LampertMartina. 2010. Where does evidentiality reside? Notes on the (alleged) limiting cases: seem and be like. Zeitschrift für SprachwissenschaftTypologie und Universalienforschung (STUF)63: 308–321.
TalmyLeonard. 2006. A windowing onto conceptual structure and language. Part 2: Language and cognition: Past and future. Leonard Talmy interviewed by Iraide Ibarretxe Antuñano. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics4: 253–268.
WiemerBjörn. 2014. Evidenzialität. In Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft Online (WSK). Downloadable at http://www.degruyter.com/view/WSK/wsk_id2be6489a-713b-4aa5-917b-3277ef1dd8d7?rskey=vMNmj6&result=1&dbq_0=Evidenzialität&dbf_0=wsk-fulltext&dbt_0=fulltext&o_0=AND.
Cf. Floyd (1999) Mushin (2001) and Disney (2012); for more detailed information on relevant conceptualizations of evidentiality cf. G. Lampert and M. Lampert (2010); G. Lampert (2011 2013); M. Lampert and G. Lampert (2013).
Likewise Hoye (1997) Kehayov (2009) and Boye (2012) do not read the combinations they investigate in terms of epistentials.