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Marking imprecision, conveying surprise : Like between hedging and mirativity

Marking imprecision, conveying surprise : Like between hedging and mirativity

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BELTRAMA, Andrea, Emily A. HANINK, 2019. Marking imprecision, conveying surprise : Like between hedging and mirativity. In: Journal of Linguistics. 55(1), pp. 1-34. ISSN 0022-2267. eISSN 1469-7742. Available under: doi: 10.1017/S0022226718000270

@article{Beltrama2019-02-01Marki-44593, title={Marking imprecision, conveying surprise : Like between hedging and mirativity}, year={2019}, doi={10.1017/S0022226718000270}, number={1}, volume={55}, issn={0022-2267}, journal={Journal of Linguistics}, pages={1--34}, author={Beltrama, Andrea and Hanink, Emily A.}, note={Corrigendum: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226718000385} }

2019-02-01 2019-01-17T09:39:27Z Hanink, Emily A. Hanink, Emily A. eng Marking imprecision, conveying surprise : Like between hedging and mirativity 2019-01-17T09:39:27Z Beltrama, Andrea Beltrama, Andrea Mirative expressions, which mark surprising information (DeLancey 1997), are often expressed through linguistic forms that are also used to encode other, seemingly unrelated, meanings – e.g. evidential markers that mark lack of direct evidence (Turkish: Slobin & Aksu 1982, Peterson 2010; Cheyenne: Rett & Murray 2013; Cuzco Quechua: Faller 2002; Ostyak: Nikolaeva 1999; among others). In this paper, we show that the English particle like features a parallel polysemy between a mirative use and its better-known hedging use, which expresses weakened commitment to the strict denotation of a linguistic expression. After presenting several diagnostics that point to a genuine empirical difference between the hedging and mirative functions of like, we propose that both uses widen the size of a contextually restricted set, admitting elements that were previously excluded. More specifically, hedging like expands the set of ‘similar enough’ interpretations that we can apply to a linguistic expression in a context, including interpretations that we would normally consider to be too different from the context at hand. Mirative like, on the other hand, expands the set of worlds that we are willing to consider as candidates for the actual world in the conversation, resulting in the inclusion of worlds that interlocutors have previously ruled out due to perceived outlandishness. We therefore suggest that the two uses are best treated as sharing a common semantic kernel, deriving hedging and mirativity as effects of the particular type of object to which like applies.

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