Epistemic, Evaluative, Speech Act Adverbs and Italian Political Language

  • Francesca La Forgia


This paper focuses on a group of Italian adverbs ending in -mente whose general function is to convey the speaker/writer’s stance towards what is being said or written: Its purpose is to offer a preliminary description of how epistemic, evaluative and speech act adverbs are used in a specific genre of political discourse: parliamentarians’ speeches during sessions of the Assemblea of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Since these speeches have an argumentative communicative intention and are highly planned texts, they constitute a potentially favourable environment to observe how these adverbs contribute to building the argumentation, handling agreements and disagreements, and supporting or rejecting opinions.

More precisely, I will analyse epistemic adverbs that express doubt and certainty, such as probabilmente (‘probably’) and certamente (‘certainly’); epistemic adverbs that express the source of knowledge, such as ovviamente (‘obviously’) and evidentemente (‘evidently’); evaluative content-oriented adverbs like sfortunatamente (‘unfortunately’); participant-oriented adverbs like giustamente (‘justly’/‘rightly’); and speech act adverbs such as francamente (‘frankly’).

La Forgia, F. (2018). Epistemic, Evaluative, Speech Act Adverbs and Italian Political Language. Linguistik Online, 92(5). https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.92.4508