The course is conceived as a research seminar. Under supervision, the student browses all the activities a linguist develops in his/her linguistic research and in the reporting of that research and, conducts his own small research (also under supervision) on the basis of concrete language data and the existing literature, on which he reports verbally and in writing.
The subject of this course is the linguistic expression of two closely related, currently highly studied theoretical notions (evidentiality and epistemic modality) used to refer to the linguistic phenomenon that consists in the indication of how a speaker received the information he gives in an utterance (whether through direct perception of reality, through by inference or or by reporting other someone else’s information) and how certain or uncertain (probably or possible) he considers the information. With concrete examples, we will see why this type of marking is so important in our daily language use and to what kinds of misunderstanding non respect of this kind of marking can lead.
We examine and illustrate, on the basis of analyses of various language expressions, the problems that arise around these theoretical notions, especially regarding the identification procedure of an expression as an evidential or modal marker and what criteria a language expression must fulfill to be considered an "evidential marker" or an "epistemico-modal marker".
We then study in detail how these notions are used in the categorization and analysis of a whole range of French expressions (e.g. the epistemic conditional, the conjectural future, epistemic devoir, adverbs such as apparemment, visiblement, constructions with on dirait, selon X / pour X, etc.).
We will then focus on markers the individual students are most interested in or which are useful for their master thesis, for papers in other courses, for their other language.