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Conditionals and the Epistemic Scale
Vol. 61, No. 3 (Sep., 1985), pp. 625-639
Published by: Linguistic Society of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/414388
Page Count: 15
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The conceptual domains REALIS and IRREALIS form an epistemic scale representing a speaker's subjective evaluation of the reality of a given situation. This scale accounts for grammatical phenomena such as conditionals, Japanese complementizer choice, and 'evidentials' in Turkish, Bulgarian, and Macedonian. Conditionals are identifiable not by their syntactic forms, but by speaker attitudes within the IRREALIS division of the scale. Surprise is also an IRREALIS phenomenon, since it takes time for newly-learned information to be assimilated into one's established body of knowledge.
Language © 1985 Linguistic Society of America