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Epistemic modality in Ghanaian Pidgin English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Epistemisk modalitet i ghanansk pidginengelska (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the expression of epistemic modality in a corpus of Ghanaian Pidgin English (GhaPE). The epistemic expressions are manually identified and thereafter distinguished from each other in terms of grammatical status and their indication of different epistemic and evidential notions. 7 different elements are found, ranging from 1 pre-verbal marker, 1 adverb, 2 particles and 3 complement-taking predicates. The results indicate, in line with existing research, that to differentiate between usage properties of individual modal expressions it may be necessary to subdivide them in terms of not only epistemic but also evidential meanings. Moreover, a functional parallel between the GhaPE particle abi, the Swedish modal particle väl and the Spanish adverbs a lo mejor and igual is demonstrated, with respect to their simultaneous function of expressing epistemic probability and asking the hearer for confirmation. Finally, the results suggest, contrary to previous accounts, that the pre-verbal marker fit may indicate epistemic possibility without the addition of a preceding irrealis marker go. It is proposed that future researchers should make use of bigger corpora in order to arrive at a more ample conception of both individual modal categories and their interrelations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 43 p.
Keyword [en]
Epistemic modality, evidentiality, Ghanaian Pidgin English, corpus analysis
Keyword [sv]
Epistemisk modalitet, evidentialitet, ghanansk pidginengelska, korpusanalys
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131516OAI: diva2:940706
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Nordén, Anton Harry
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