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Abstract

Hedging strategies, i.e. downtoning expressions or expressions of tentativeness or possibility, are ubiquitous in most, if not all, languages. However, hedging is often realised differently across languages, making such strategies particularly interesting to study from a contrastive perspective. The primary aim of this study is to compare the types of hedging strategies employed in Norwegian and English informal spoken conversations by using recently compiled corpus data. To enable a cross-linguistic comparison, a probe was used, i.e. a search term was devised to find other, surrounding elements in the corpora, and thereby retrieve comparable speech situations in which hedging strategies were likely to occur. The probe was successful in retrieving hedging strategies, and these strategies were then described by using a combination of categories from existing classificatory frameworks. The analysis uncovered several significant differences in the types of hedging strategies used in the two languages.

In: Contrastive Pragmatics