Ramona Bongelli,

Ilaria Riccioni,

Andrzej Zuczkowski


According to the results of our previous studies on written texts and spoken dialogues (Zuczkowski et al. 2014; Zuczkowski et al. 2017) it is possible to identify three main epistemic positions, each having two sides, one evidential (source of information), the other epistemic (commitment towards the truth of the propositional content): Knowing/certain, Not Knowing Whether-Believing/uncertain, Unknowing/neither certain nor uncertain. During a dialogue, speakers can assume one of three different epistemic positions, shifting from one to another in their turns or even within the same turn, and give their interlocutors a complementary one; interlocutors, on their part, can react by showing alignment or misalignment towards the others’ positioning. In this study, in order to illustrate our theoretical perspective, we present four conversational excerpts taken from different types of Italian corpora showing the relations between the epistemic positioning and the sequential structure of interactions. Our analysis suggests that, when interlocutors assume epistemic roles consistent with speakers’ expectations, the conversational outcomes are agreement and alignment; when this is not the case, disagreement and misalignment are frequent. These dynamics affect the sequential structure of the interaction as well.

Słowa kluczowe: epistemic stance, KUB model, alignment, misalignment, sequential structure

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