If I analyse evidential devices, is it lexical or propositional level of analysis? I would say it is propositional level, because, for instance, modal verbs being taken out of context may have different meanings, objective like 'must' conveying the meaning of 'obligation', and subjective like 'must' conveying the idea of a person's logical inference about something. Am I mistaken? Thank you in advance!

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    Giving some examples of what you mean by "evidentials" would be helpful. And any level you can utilize for analysis is fine. The problem is that mostly such analysis is done on written texts, which leave out most of the important information -- like intonation, gaze direction, gesture, facial expressions, rhythm, etc. -- that's necessary for useful interpretation. – jlawler Feb 24 '14 at 20:18
  • I'm analysing online discourse, therefore it's not possible to take those aspects into account. drawing on Chafe's conceptualisation of evidentiality and the context (what I could gather from users' entries), I divided evidential markers on verbs, like 'know' (although he doesn't mention 'know' as an evidential marker, but I include it since Palmer calls it "semantically factive", so they all refer to knowledge) ,'believe',adverbs,and modal verbs. Example: A: "In my class I was playing around and found out that CSS works with made-up tags." B: "I BELIEVE it won't work on older browsers" – Natalie Feb 24 '14 at 20:52
  • in this case 'believe' is an evidential device based on belief as a 'mode of knowing'... – Natalie Feb 24 '14 at 20:59
  • Sounds like you're dealing with Presupposition and maybe Entailment, and possibly Conversational Implicature – jlawler Feb 24 '14 at 22:19
  • thank you for your reply!that's bad news for me because I considered them as evidentials... although I still don't see the parallel with what I have and presuppositions (there are no suitable triggers), entailments or conversational implicature (no maxim has been flouted - the reply actually corresponds to the question, unfortunately I had to leave out some part of the example for the sake of space...). but presupposition, entailments and conversational implicature surely belong to propositional level. thank you once again! – Natalie Feb 24 '14 at 22:39

What you are talking about are modes of existence, which classify propositions (or more precisely, clauses). From a semantic perspective, eventualities (possible situations) have different modes of existence, some of them being evidential. It has nothing to do with presupposition and only marginally touches entailment (in the case of positive modalities).

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