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Pizziconi, Barbara (2009) 'The interactional consequences of epistemic indexicality – some thoughts on the epistemic marker -kamoshirenai.' In: Pizziconi, Barbara, (ed.), Japanese Modality: Exploring its Scope and Interpretation. Basingstoke [England] ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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This chapter of the edited collection attempts to flesh out the implications of a conceptualization of modality as a fundamentally deictic system, i.e. one that indexes the speaker’s position towards the information and the participants’ knowledge thereof. The first implication is that the functional meanings achieved in interaction cannot be thought of as ‘encoded’ in a specific modal marker but they are rather contingent and ‘emergent’: they are derived from the combination of a marker’s indexical meaning with contextual (i.e. discursive and interactional) factors. They are therefore volatile, and never entirely predictable. The second implication is that, since issues of knowledge are never socially neutral, the speaker’s orientation toward the information is of significant interactional importance and the use of a modal is likely to be sensitive to social positioning in discourse. Pizziconi suggests that the study of modality in actual interaction benefits from, and at the same time provides a test for other types of analyses, and that research from an interactional perspective can shed light on the communicative role of modal markers in the construction of cognitive, affective and ultimately socio-cultural stances.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea
ISBN: 9780230576322
Date Deposited: 05 May 2009 10:55

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