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Additional resources for Evidentiality and Epistemic Modality in Spanish (Semi-)Auxiliaries: A Cognitive-Functional Approach (Applications of Congnitive Linguistics)

Sample text

In the Spanish linguistic tradition, however, it is generally assumed that the speaker is less committed to the event expressed in the infinitive than to that of the inflected que-clause. Thus, the Spanish evidential verbs seem to go against the oft-mentioned assumption that inference conveys a stronger speaker commitment than other sources of information such as hearsay. I will show that, although the various parecer constructions manifest different degrees of speaker commitment, this commitment is to be seen independently of their source of information.

This distinction is corroborated in (13), where the visual and auditory evidence is mentioned explicitly by means of solo les dejan tocar la guitarra ‘they only let them play the guitar’. (13) a. Parece (ser) que los indígenas solo sirven como escenario. ’ b. Parece que los indígenas solo sirven como escenario, es que solo les dejan tocar la guitarra. ’ A three-dimensional analysis of parecer 31 c. Parece ser que los indígenas solo sirven como escenario, es que solo les dejan tocar la guitarra.

It can also be assumed that the speaker negotiates the degree of reliability by using a specific expression. In this respect, the lexical stem of obligation certainly contributes to higher reliability. The expression itself is then meaningful in that it guides the hearer to a certain interpretation by excluding other ones. The statement with parece ser que ‘it seems to be that’ in (3) is at first sight more attenuated one than the one with deber. (3) ¿Cómo pagan hoy los servicios secretos de todo el mundo a sus agentes?

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