Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Expressive strength reduction through the use of perception/epistemic verbs in first person singular subject reference in British English, Castilian Spanish and Galician

Natalia Villar Conde

Abstract

British English, Castilian Spanish and Galician are three geographically and genetically close linguistic codes, although they exhibit important pragmatic differences. This can be seen when examining degrees of expressive strength in the message; that is, the extent to which the speaker commits him/herself to the proposition expressed. Considering in particular one of the possible ways of avoiding commitment to the message, namely the employment of perception/epistemic verbs in first person singular, it can be seen that English speakers make extensive use of this device. This can be connected to the interest in the Anglo-Saxon culture in avoiding imposition of personal ideas. As a result of a similar interdependence of linguistic and cultural aspects, Galician speakers do not make use of such a resource, and Spanish occupies a middle position, with some use of the structure analysed. The analysis considers five types of discourse for each language, showing that the socio-cultural context in which speech production takes place is important for discursive style.

Keywords

Verbos de percepción; Análisis del discurso; Contexto sociocultural; Lengua inglesa; Lengua española; Lengua gallega



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.2002.15.15

Copyright (c) 2002 Natalia Villar Conde

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