Displaying knowledge in journalistic texts: A contrastive analysis of an evidential particle in Estonian and Finnish

Minna Jaakola


his paper examines the semantics of the Estonian and Finnish epistemic-evidential particles teatavasti and tiettävästi (‘as is generally known’ and ‘as far as is known’). Based on newspaper data and focusing on textual and intersubjective meanings, this analysis adopts the Cognitive Grammar description of relational predicates. The comparison is based on the properties of the fact that is within the scope of the particle (knowledge that is specific or generic, conventionalised or non-conventionalised, and more or less irrefutable). Whereas the Finnish particle conveys a strong implication of reported knowledge, which often causes a message of slight hedging, the Estonian particle is used to mark the issue at hand as being certain. In addition, the information in Estonian is displayed as being accessible and shared to interlocutors. On a textual level, the characteristic feature of this Estonian particle is to mark a fact as the background information for a more topical element of the text. In contrast, the Finnish particle is often used for organising the different reported voices in a text.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5128/LV22.02


epistemic modality; evidential modality; relational predicate; intersubjectivity; Cognitive Grammar

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5128/LV22.02


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Copyright (c) 2012 Minna Jaakola

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ISSN 1736-9290 (print)
ISSN 2228-3854 (online)
DOI  https://doi.org/10.5128/LV.1736-9290