Epistemic and evidential legitimization strategies in English and Spanish medical research article abstracts
Francisco J. Álvarez-Gil & Elena Domínguez-Morales, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; Abstract: This presentation explores the categories of evidentiality, i.e. the mode of knowing, and epistemic modality, i.e. judgements about certainty, in a corpus of English and Spanish abstracts in the field of medicine written in the last decades by native speakers of these languages. Our notion of abstracts follows the description of the genre provided Bondi and Lorés-Sanz (2014). The analyses of epistemic modality and evidentiality are based on the works of Plungian (2001), Marín-Arrese (2009), and Cornillie (2009), Alonso-Almeida (2015a), among others, and these allow us to establish a differentiation between evidential and epistemic legitimating strategies. For this, lexical and grammatica units will be considered in our analysis of research article abstracts. In doing this, we seek to explore and describe the functions of evidential and epistemic devices in the scientific domain in two different languages. This study has, therefore, two main objectives: (a) to identify and categorize evidential and epistemic markers in our corpus of English and Spanish medical abstracts, (b) to describe the functions these strategies fulfil in the abstracts, and (b) to see whether these strategies are register-dependent, i.e. whether there are differences according to the language used. In the light of earlier evidence on research articles from a contrastive perspective (Alonso-Almeida 2015b; Almeida & Pastor 2017), we expect abstract to show more cases of epistemic modality in the case of the English texts, as English texts have been shown to rely on this type of modality in order to convey politeness within the community of scientists for which these abstracts are aimed at (Carrió-Pastor & Calderón 2015).
Almeida, Francisco Alonso & María Luisa Carrió Pastor. 2017. Variation and function of modals in linguistics and engineering research papers in english. Evidentiality and Modality in European Languages: Discourse-pragmatic perspectives (April 2017). 187–208. doi:10.3726/b11226.
Alonso-Almeida, Francisco. 2015a. On the mitigating function of modality and evidentiality. Evidence from English and Spanish medical research papers. Intercultural Pragmatics 12(1). 33–57. doi:10.1515/ip-2015-0002.
Alonso-Almeida, Francisco. 2015b. Sentential epistemic and evidential devices in Spanish and English texts on computing. In Juan Rafael Zamorano-Mansilla, Carmen Maíz, Elena Domínguez & Ma Victoria Martín de la Rosa (eds.), Thinking Modally: English and Contrastive Studies on Modality, 383–408. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Bondi, Marina & Rosa Lorés Sanz. 2014. Abstracts in Academic Discourse. Bern: Peter Lang CH. doi:10.3726/978-3-0351-0701-2.
Carrió-Pastor, María Luisa & Rut Muñiz Calderón. 2015. A Contrastive Analysis of Metadiscourse Features in Business e-mails Written by Non-native Speakers of English. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 173. 214–221. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.055.
Cornillie, Bert. 2009. Evidentiality and epistemic modality: On the close relationship between two different categories. Functions of Language 16(1). 44–62. doi:10.1075/fol.16.1.04cor.
Marín Arrese, Juana I. 2009. Effective vs. epistemic stance, and subjectivity/intersubjectivity in political discourse. A case study. In Anastasios Tsangalidis & Roberta Facchinetti (eds.), Studies on English modality. In honour of Frank R. Palmer, 23–52. Bern/ New York: Peter Lang.
Plungian, Vladimir A. 2001. The place of evidentiality within the universal grammatical space. Journal of Pragmatics. doi:10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00006-0.
917 01 Trnava
+421 948 632253