Developing Argumentation in History Texts: Epistemic Modality and Evidentiality



This paper reports on the use of epistemic modal devices and evidentials in order to indicate perspective in modern English texts in the domain of history. The data has been excerpted from the Corpus of History English Texts (CHET), compiled as a subsection of the Coruña Corpus at the University of A Coruña (Spain) (Moskowich and Crespo, 2007). The corpus is to be used with its own corpus tool, i.e. the Coruña Corpus Tool (CCT) for text retrieval and analysis. There is not an agreed position concerning the relationship between epistemic modality and evidentiality. In this paper, our approach is disjunctive (see Dendale and Tasmowski, 2001) in the sense that it stands as a distinct category from epistemic modality, even if functional overlapping may result from the pragmatic interpretation of particular samples. Conclusions will show that these devices have a strong textual potential and can, therefore, be used to develop argumentation.