Reportative evidentiality and attribution in Romanian fairy tales

Silvia Florea 1
  • 1 Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania
Silvia Florea

Abstract

This study sets out to examine how reportative evidentiality and attribution are achieved in Romanian fairy tales. By comparing and contrasting reportative and attribution expressions, the current research aims to determine the deictic function of these constructions, the pragmatic motivations of the speaker for evidential usage as well as the lexicalization, richness and functional diversity of these expressions in the Romanian language. In fairy tales, the content, actants, constructed reported discourse, sources of information and reproduction of speech vary widely, thus the relationship between evidentiality and attribution can be richly explored from a syntactic, lexical and a pragmatic/interactional/functional perspective. Research findings suggest, among other things, that Romanian fairy tales integrate evidential and attributive preferences that are reflective of a regional practicality of the genre as a form of communication, that there is cognitive implication of the storyteller in the process of evidential choice and that evidential values are associated with particular constructions that allow for evidentiality and attribution to operate as effective discourse strategies in the realization of the interpersonal functions in the tales. With regard to Romanian fairy tales, such evidential expressions help clarify, validate and evaluate sources of information, operating as prompters in a perspective-taking dynamic process.

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