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Clauses emerging as epistemic adverbs in Estonian conversation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages.
2010 (English)In: Linguistica Uralica, ISSN 0868-4731, Vol. 46, no 2, 81-101 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper shows how four combinations of 1st person pronoun + epistemic verb emerge as adverbs in contemporary spoken Estonian, arguing that word classes have fuzzy boundaries. Excerpts from naturally occurring conversations demonstrate how ma tean ‘I know’, ma usun ‘I believe’, ma arvan ‘I think’, and mai tea ‘I don’t know’ are used in varying positions in relation to the commented clause with the prosody that usually suggests their integration into these units. The items display somewhat divergent semantics as compared to their components, expressing degrees of epistemic certainty and uncertainty as well as personalized stance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 46, no 2, 81-101 p.
Keyword [en]
epistemic phrases, epistemic adverbs, emergence, grammaticalization, parentheticals, prosodic integration, Estonian
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120745DOI: 10.3176/lu.2010.2.01ISI: 000279154100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120745DiVA: diva2:303936
Available from: 2010-03-16 Created: 2010-03-16 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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