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Evidential and Argumentative Functions of Dynamic Appearance Verbs in Italian: The Example of 'Rivelare' and 'Emergere

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Book chapter
This contribution examines the way dynamic appearance verbs in Italian function as lexical evidential strategies and signal inferential relations in argumentative discourse. In argumentative discourse, evidential markers and strategies can be hypothesized to function as “argumentative indicators” by contributing to signal argumentative relations. The present analysis focuses on two Italian appearance verbs, rivelare and emergere. Differently from the more studied appearance verb to seem and corresponding verbs in Romance languages, these verbs denote dynamic eventualities rather than states. The analysis focuses on uses that denote an eventuality of knowledge acquisition and on performative contexts in which these acquire an evidential function. The study of dynamic appearance verb constructions makes both a lexicological contribution in the domain of perception and mental verbs and aims at underlining the role of verb-based lexical constructions in the expression of the basic pragmatic categories of information source and argumentative relations. On the theoretical level, it also sheds some light on the relation between the two mentioned categories, which overlap as to the type of relevant conceptual relations, but differ as to their communicative functions and as to their contribution to text organization.
Argumentation and Languge - Linguistic, Cognitive and Discursive Explorations
Oswald, Steve; Herman, Thierry; Jacquin, Jérôme
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perception verbs, evidentiality, argumentation, lexical semantics, discourse analysis, Italian language