Questions and Epistemic Stance in Contemporary Spoken British English
Andrzej Zuczkowski, Author, Ramona Bongelli, Author, Ilaria Riccioni, Author, Gill Philip, Author

This volume explores a model of epistemic stance, according to which speakers can communicate each single piece of information either as known/certain or uncertain or unknown. It presents a qualitative analysis of extracts from the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 to support the idea that questions come from two distinct epistemic positions: the Unknowing and the Uncertain; this latter ranges along two poles: Not Knowing Whether and Believing.In the epistemic continuum, Unknowing questions express a lack of knowledge and range from open to closed and dual wh-questions. On the other hand, Uncertain questions express a lack of certainty and range from maximum uncertainty (Not Knowing Whether-questions advancing a doubt) to minimum uncertainty (Believing-questions advancing a supposition). Both Unknowing and Uncertain questions can be directed either at the answerer's Knowing or Believing position, depending on their aim. The volume will appeal to scholars concerned with the topic of question design and epistemic stance from a theoretical and analytical perspective, as well as those interested in applying these findings in their teaching practice.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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