The study explores the function of epistemic adverbs of certainty and of restrictive adverbs in a corporate genre, namely the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. The underlying assumption is that through the investigation of interpersonal resources such as epistemic and restrictive adverbs it is possible to retrieve crucial information about the ideological underpinnings of CSR discourse, thus contributing to a better understanding of this recently emerged discursive formation. The epistemic adverbs of certainty which appear in the texts fall mostly in the category of expectation (Chafe 1986, 270), and are classified by White (2003) as examples of “concur”, i.e. they represent the textual voice as upholding a broadly shared position, concurring with the real or imagined reader and simultaneously, by converse, invoking the reader's alignment with its position. Both the evocation of expectation and the invocation of alignment interpersonally engage the reader in the co-construction of shared common ground. On the other hand, restrictive adverbs are used to create scales of values, foregrounding some and backgrounding others. The study also shows that in the corpus under investigation adverbs of epistemic certainty and restrictive adverbs are often embedded (and occasionally co-occur) in syntactic structures featuring forms of concession. Concession entails and overcomes a clash between the expectations raised by the conceded proposition and the claims made in the one asserted, which is therefore given salience. Propositions linked by a relationship of concessions are not mutually contradictory; they coexist, but their coexistence is posited as something that would not normally be expected. In CSR discourse, what is posited as unexpected is the nonconflictual (and indeed mutually beneficial) coexistence of profit- and society-oriented motives, with adverbs of epistemic certainty being used to highlight the sharedness of the conceded proposition, and restrictive adverbs, usually accompanied by some form of negation (not only, not just, more than just), being deployed in the service of the redefinition of priorities.
Markers of Trust: Epistemic adverbs of certainty and restrictive adverbs in CSR reports / P. Catenaccio - In: Discursive Construal of Trust in the Dynamics of Knowledge Diffusion / [a cura di] R. Salvi, J. Turnbull. - [s.l] : Cambridge scholars, 2017. - ISBN 9781443893541. - pp. 88-107
|Titolo:||Markers of Trust: Epistemic adverbs of certainty and restrictive adverbs in CSR reports|
|Parole Chiave:||epistemic adverbs; restrictive adverbs; CSR discourse; trust|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|