Theme session – Call for Papers
at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea
11-14th September 2014, Poznań, Poland

This theme session focuses on epistemic and evidential expressions for stance taking. The approach adopted here will be data-driven, with special use of corpora and/or discourse analysis. Modalised utterances, such as epistemic and evidential constructions, convey information about the speaker’s assertions and attitudes in an interactive context. They can, therefore, be understood in terms of subjectivity, intersubjectivity, and objectivity. The direct subjective expression of a speaker’s cognitive state (e.g., I think, I believe, I know, etc.) and the objective evidential expression of the perceived situation (e.g., it seems, it looks, it appears etc.) are both fundamental to understanding language use and the intersubjectivity of communication. Indeed, these three dimensions, the personal (subjective), interpersonal (intersubjective), and impersonal (objective), play a crucial role in the interaction between the source of knowledge/perception and the degree of certainty.

Epistemic and evidential language is central to understanding and accounting for the construal and conception of scenes as well as the functions and intentions of utterances. The nature of this research places it at the crossroads of Cognitive and Functional Linguistics. The workshop seeks to advance an already established tradition through integrating these cognitive and functional frameworks.

The workshop will build on the work by Benveniste (1971), Langacker (1985, 1987), Traugott (1989), Guentchéva (1996), Nuyts (2001), Mushin (2001), Brisard (2002), Scheibman (2002), Kärkkäinen (2003), Verhagen (2005), Cornillie (2007), Engelbretson (2007), Simon-Vandenbergen & Aijmer (2007), Ekberg & Paradis (2009), Hunston (2010), and others (see references).

We invite contributions dealing with topics related to epistemicity and evidentiality in relation to questions of (inter)subjectivity and objectivity in an intra- and interlinguistic context. Examples of research areas include, but are not restricted to:

- Assessment / operationalisation of the (inter)subjective dimension of epistemicity and evidentiality
- The role of assertion in utterance modalisation
- Constructions and strategies available for speakers in stance taking
- Different meanings of epistemic expressions (e.g., the multiple meanings of think)
- Cross-linguistic studies in epistemicity and evidentiality
- Interactive framing and construal of stance taking
- Adverbial and adjectival expressions of stance and evidentiality
- Constructions and grammatical patterns of epistemic and evidential expressions (e.g., complementation types)
- Discursive patterns of epistemicity and evidentiality
- Prosody and intonation patterns in stance taking
- Grammaticalization in epistemic expressions
- Reported speech, modalisation markers and evidentiality


epictemicity, evidentiality, subjectivity, intersubjectivity
discourse and conversation analysis, corpus linguistics, usage-based linguistics
Cognitive Linguistics, Enunciative Functional Linguistics, Systemic Functional Linguistics


Instructions for abstract submissions:
- Short abstracts of 300 words (excluding references) should clearly specify -
(i) research question(s)
(ii) method and data
(iii) (expected) results.
- Abstracts should be sent to:
- Please use a modifiable file format such as .doc, .rtf, or .odt

For further information, please contact the session convenors
Françoise Doro-Mégy:
Dylan Glynn:
Karolina Krawczak:


Deadline: 25th November
Notification: 30th November

If accepted, longer abstracts of 500 words (excluding references) will need to be submitted separately to the central conference organisers by the 15th January 2014.




Benveniste, E. 1971 [1958]. Subjectivity in language. In: Emile Benveniste, Problems in General Linguistics, 223–230. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press.

Brisard, F. 2002. Grounding: The Epistemic Footing of Deixis and Reference. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Boye, K. 2012. Epistemic meaning. A crosslinguistic and functional-cognitive study. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Celle, A. 2009. The intersubjective function of modal adverbs. A contrastive English-French study of adverbs in journalistic discourse. Languages in Contrast, 9, 23-36.

Chafe, W. & Nichols, J. (Eds.). 1986. Evidentiality: The Linguistic Coding of Epistemology. Norwood: Ablex.

Coltier, D. & Dendale, P. 2004. La modalisation du discours de soi : éléments de description sémantique des expressions pour moi, selon moi et à mon avis. Langue Française, 142, 41-57.

Cornillie, B. 2007. Evidentiality and epistemic modality in Spanish (semi)auxiliaries. A cognitive-functional approach. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Dendale, P. & Van Bogaert, J. 2012. Réflexions sur les critères de définition et les problèmes d’identifications des marqueurs évidentiels en français. Langue Française 173, 13-29.

De Saussure, L. 2011. Discourse analysis, cognition and evidentials. Discourse Studies, 13, 781-788.

Ekberg, L. & Paradis, C. (Eds.). 2009. Evidentiality in language and cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Englebretson, R. 2007. Stancetaking in discourse: Subjectivity, evaluation, interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Guentchéva, Z. (Ed.). 1996. L’Énonciation médiatisée. Bibliothèque de l’information grammaticale. Louvain: Éditions Peeters.

Hunston, S. 2010. Corpus Approaches to Evaluation: Phraseology and Evaluative Language. London: Routledge.

Kärkkäinen, E. 2003. Epistemic Stance in English Conversation. A description of its interactional functions, with a focus on I think. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Langacker, R. W. 1985. Observations and speculations on subjectivity. In: John Haiman (Ed.), Iconicity in Syntax, 109–150. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Langacker, R. W. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. 1. Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Mushin, I. 2001. Evidentiality and Epistemological Stance. Narrative Retelling. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Nuyts, J. 2001. Epistemic modality, language, and conceptualization: A cognitive-pragmatic perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Scheibman, J. 2002. Point of View and Grammar. Structural patterns of subjectivity in American English conversation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Simon-Vandenbergen, A. M. & Aijmer, K. 2007. The Semantic Field of Modal Certainty: A Corpus-based Study of English Adverbs. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Traugott, E. 1989. On the rise of epistemic meanings in English: An example of subjectification in semantic change. Language, 65, 31–55.

Verhagen, A. 2005. Constructions of Intersubjectivity. Discourse, Syntax, and Cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.