LINGUIST List 18.3854

Fri Dec 21 2007

Books: Pragmatics/Semantics/Syntax: Simon-Vandenbergen, Ajmer

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <>

Directory         1.    Julia Ulrich, The Semantic Field of Modal Certainty: Simon-Vandenbergen, Ajmer

Message 1: The Semantic Field of Modal Certainty: Simon-Vandenbergen, Ajmer
Date: 17-Dec-2007
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: The Semantic Field of Modal Certainty: Simon-Vandenbergen, Ajmer
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Title: The Semantic Field of Modal Certainty Subtitle: A Corpus-based Study of English Adverbs Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics 56 Published: 2007 Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter

Book URL:

Author: Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen Author: Karin Ajmer Hardback: ISBN: 9783110196177 Pages: 395 Price: Europe EURO 98.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110196177 Pages: 395 Price: U.S. $ 137.00 Comment: for orders placed in North America

In spite of the vast literature on modality in English, very littleresearch has been done on modal adverbs as a group. While there are studiesof individual adverbs, the semantic and pragmatic relations between themhave been left largely unexplored. This book takes a close look at thewhole field of modal certainty as expressed by adverbs in English. On thebasis of corpus data the most frequent adverbs of certainty, includingcertainly, indeed, and no doubt, are examined from the point of view oftheir syntactic, semantic and pragmatic characteristics. The corpus used isthe International Corpus of English - Great Britain, supplemented by datafrom other present-day English corpora, and questionnaires testing nativespeakers' intuitions on fine-grained similarities and differences betweenclosely related adverbs.

The methodology also includes the study of cross-linguistic equivalents asindicators of semantic-pragmatic relations between adverbs. Translationcorpora yield correspondences in Swedish, Dutch, French and German. Adetailed study of those correspondences adds useful information for settingup a semantic-pragmatic profile of each adverb, showing where theirmeanings overlap and where the boundaries are. The concept of semantic mapsis relied on for plotting these relations.

The book not only provides a thorough empirical study of English adverbsexpressing certainty, it also contributes to a better theoreticalunderstanding of the complexity of modal certainty, how it is related tospeakers' goals and to other semantic areas. It is the first in-depth studyof this kind, combining rich information on English as well as opening upperspectives for further empirical and theoretical research into modality.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics                             Semantics                             Syntax
Subject Language(s): English (eng)
Written In: English (eng )

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