Coding certainty: On some epistemic modality markersin English and Polish research articles
Krystyna Warchal (Institute of English, University of Silesia, Sosnowiec, Poland)
This paper attempts to investigate linguistic modality as an expression of a psychological state of the language user. Modality is the vehicle of the interpersonal function of language, through which the speaker’s perspective and judgment are expressed and the relationship with the other party in communication is established (Halliday, 1971). While a number of modality types are distinguished, the distinction between epistemic and deontic modality is often treated as the most salient.
This study attempts to analyse selected epistemic modality markers in two corpora of research articles published over the last 6 years in renowned English and Polish linguistics-related journals. The English corpus consists of 200 articles; on the basis of affiliation notes and the last names of the authors, it is assumed that the writers are native users of English or have a native-like command of this language. The Polish corpus consists of articles written in the Polish language by Polish authors. The aim of this project is to show whether there are any systematic differences in the way high degrees of commitment to a proposition are expressed in English and Polish samples of this academic genre.