The relationship between language and conceptualization remains one of the major puzzles in language research. This monograph addresses this issue by means of an in depth corpus based and experimental investigation of the major types of expressions of epistemic modality in Dutch, German and English. By adopting a systematic functional orientation, the book explains a whole range of peculiarities of epistemic expression forms (synchronically and diachronically), and it offers a clear perspective on which cognitive systems are needed to get from the concept of epistemic modality to its linguistic expression. On that basis the author postulates a sophisticated, layered view of human conceptualization. This book is of interest both to scholars working on modality and related semantic dimensions, and to the interdisciplinary field of researchers concerned with the cognitive systems involved in language use.
1. Transcription conventions in the experimental data; 2. Preface; 3. Introduction; 4. 1. Preliminaries; 5. 2. Modal adverbs and adjectives; 6. 3. Mental state predicates; 7. 4. Modal auxiliaries; 8. 5. Information structure: An experiment; 9. 6. The cognitive structure of epistemic modality; 10. Conclusion; 11. References; 12. Appendix 1: Cartoon strips and their experimental conditions; 13. Appendix 2: Quali.cational expressions in the experimental data; 14. Subject index; 15. Name index; 16. Word index