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What is epistemic modality?

 

Definition
 

Epistemic modality is a modality that connotes how much certainty or evidence a speaker has for the proposition expressed by his or her utterance.

Example (English)
 
  • There’s no answer; he must have already left.
  • Kinds
      Here are some kinds of epistemic modality:
     
    Generic
      Epistemic modality is a kind of
     
    Sources
     

    Crystal 1985 110

     

    Chung and Timberlake 1985 242

     

    Bybee 1985 165–166

     

    Palmer 1986 10–11, 51


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    Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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