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Linguistic and non-linguistic forms and strategies that show a speaker's commitment to the status of the information that he or she is providing.

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Examples and Observations:

  • "Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer."
    (Winston Churchill)

  • "I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody."
    (Barack Obama)

  • "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
    (H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu, 1928)

  • "'Yes,' he said. Even through my own confusion, I could hear how difficult he was finding this conversation, the hesitancy in his voice, the slow picking through possibilities to decide the best thing to say. 'I don't know why Ben isn't telling you everything,' he said. 'I did think he believed he was doing the right thing.'"
    (S. J. Watson, Before I Go to Sleep, 2011)

  • "At a very basic level, stance can be seen as a form of contextualization, because stancetaking indicates how the speaker's position with respect to a particular utterance or bit of text is to be interpreted; contextualization cues are thus basic, culturally specific tools or resources for stancetaking. . . . "[F]ocusing on ethos allows us to see that stance-taking has to do with indexing one's orientation to the propositional content of discourse, to one's interactional partners, or to conventional social identity categories, but also with indexing one's orientation to the nature of individual identity and its enactment in language. . . .

    "Stance is generally understood to have to do with the methods, linguistic and other, by which interactants create and signal relationships with the propositions they utter and with the people they interact with."
    (Alexandra Jaffe, Stance: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Oxford Univ. Press, 2009)

  • "More recently, stance styles and stance have begun to be regarded, not as static phenomena residing within individual speakers, but responsive to interactional requirements and social contexts within which speakers and recipients interact. Thus, the focus has moved from the individual speaker towards a more dialogic approach, and towards the social construction of meaning."
    (Elise Kärkkäinen, Epistemic Stance in English Conversation. John Benjamins, 2003)
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