Hedging in different types of discourse

TATIANA I. GRIBANOVA and TAMARA M. GAIDUKOVA

The article describes discourse features of some of the most common hedges observed in modern English and explores their communicative impact on the utterance. The authors apply Prince et al.’s (1982) classification of hedges into approximators (modify the propositional content conveyed in the utterance) and shields (modify the truth value of the utterance) to analyse hedging behaviour in two discourse genres: the interview and political speeches. The paper aims to identify the most common types of hedges used in the two types of discourse, explore their structural types and pragmatic features, and account for their usage in the two types of discourse. The study is conducted within the framework of contemporary linguistics, such as functional grammar, pragmatics and comparative analysis. The authors make inferences about the nature of hedging, key features of hedges and their discourse-marked specifics.

KEYWORDS: hedging, political speech, interview, approximator, adaptor, rounder, plausibility shield, attribution shield

TATIANA I. GRIBANOVA. Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa (USA). Teaches Practical Grammar, Practical Rhetoric, Profession-Oriented Translation. Research advisor for BA students. Manages the student community of the English Language Faculty. Author of 22 research papers and 6 teaching guides on English grammar. Research interests cover functional learning of English grammar and linguistic pragmatics.

TAMARA M. GAIDUKOVA. CSc in Linguistics, Associate Professor in the Dpt of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). Teaches Practical English. Research interests cover foreign language teaching methodology, online training, hedging in communication.

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