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Claudia Caffi

This fourth volume in the Studies in Pragmatics (SIP) series is a fittingly solid, well-illustrated and theoretical account of Mitigation (as a form of Politeness). The main goal of this book is to present a new integrated pragmatic approach to communication. The approach has been called pragmatics of identity. It's major feature is that it aims at integrating pragmatic views (research on politeness, face-work, etc.) with insights from different research fields into an extended framework where psychological aspects of communication in context also can be taken into account.

Nonveridicality and Evaluation

Theoretical, Computational and Corpus Approaches

Series:

Edited by Maite Taboada and Rada Trnavac

Nonveridicality and evaluation interact in obvious ways in conveying opinion and subjectivity in language. In Nonveridicality and Evaluation Maite Taboada and Radoslava Trnavac bring together a diverse group of researchers with interests in evaluation, Appraisal, nonveridicality and coherence relations. The papers in the volume approach the intersection of these areas from two different points of view: theoretical and empirical. From a theoretical point of view, contributions reflect the interface between evaluation, nonveridicality and coherence. The empirical perspective is shown in papers that employ corpus methodology, qualitative descriptions of texts, and computational implementations.

How to express yourself with a causal connective

Subjectivity and causal connectives in Dutch, German and French

Series:

Mirna Pit

The Dutch, German and French languages display a variety of regularly used connectives all of which introduce causes, arguments or reasons, such as Dutch omdat, want and aangezien, German weil, denn and da, and French parce que, car and puisque. Why should languages have different connectives to express the notion of backward causality? The central argument developed in this book is that different connectives express different degrees of subjectivity. In a series of corpus analyses it is shown that the degree of subjectivity of the main participant involved in the causal relation strongly predicts the occurrence of one or another connective. Hence, language users have at their disposal connectives of varying degrees of subjectivity. In an analysis of judiciary sentences, it is revealed that speakers are actually sensitive of this semantic distinction, and sometimes even exploit it for their communicative purposes: in order to conceal their subjective involvement, judges prefer objective over subjective connectives. This volume makes a contribution to the study of language in use, by applying empirical methods to authentic language data. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with discourse coherence, perspective and subjectivity, corpus linguistics and cross-linguistic analyses.

Discourse Functions at the Left and Right Periphery

Crosslinguistic Investigations of Language Use and Language Change

Series:

Edited by Kate Beeching and Ulrich Detges

A basic property of human language is that it unfolds in time; the left and right margin of discourse units do not behave in a symmetrical fashion. The working hypothesis of this volume is that discourse elements at the left periphery have mainly subjective and discourse-structuring functions, whereas at the right periphery, such elements play an intersubjective or modalising role. However, the picture that emerges from the different contributions to this volume is far more complex. While it seems clear that the working hypothesis cannot be upheld in a “strong” way, most of the chapters – especially those based on corpus data – show that an asymmetry between left and right periphery does exist and that it is a matter of frequency.

Series:

Mingya Liu

Multidimensional Semantics of Evaluative Adverbs provides a multidimensional analysis for the lexical semantics of evaluative adverbs: nonfactive evaluative adverbs trigger a conventional implicature, whereas factive evaluative adverbs not only trigger a conventional implicature but also a conventional presupposition. This analysis proves to be more advantageous than existing analysis in terms of empirical coverage and explanatory power.

With the case of evaluative adverbs, the book demonstrates how secondary meanings (e.g. conventional presuppositions, conventional implicatures) interact with primary meanings (i.e. main assertion, or at-issue content). For the first time, a three-dimensional formal language of conventional implicatures and conventional presuppositions is implemented and applied to derive the right truth conditions of sentences with evaluative adverbs and predict their projection behaviors. With a cross-linguistic perspective (focusing on German, English and Mandarin Chinese) and using corpus- and psycholinguistic methods, the book also offers new perspectives on the syntax/semantics/pragmatics of adverbials.