Hedges In Barack Obama’s Speeches









Approved by the English Department of Faculty of Cultural Studies of University of Sumatra Utara (USU) Medan as thesis for The Sarjana Ilmu Budaya Examination

Head, Secretary,

Dr. H. Muhizar Muchtar, MS Dr. Hj. Nurlela, M. Hum NIP. 19541117 198003 1 002 NIP. 19590419 198102 2 001





Signed :







Signed :



God, I might not be Your best son, but at least I always try to do my best in life You have given to me. This is a piece of words that I would like to lift to Your Holy place for every single miracle which happens in my days. Your miracles come as sun sets in my life and a bit of wisdom which is blessed inside my head has driven me in making one of my dreams come true. This phrases will be my first words in facing a new world and I always pray Your Mighty Hands are always avaiable in holding my head up. I lift my voice onto You for saying “Jesus, You are Great”, because you picked me up, when I struggled to get through.Because You healed my heart, when it was thrown and shattered. Because You gave me hope,

when it seemed so out of reach.

Because You filled me with peace, when chaos flowed through my veins. Because You showed me the light, when there was only darkness. Because You gave me comfort, when my voice cried out in pain. Because You reassured me, when the

doubts screamed in my head.

Because You kept me going, when there seemed nowhere to go. Because You sustained me with strength, when weakness became all I knew. Because You came and stayed, when everyone else turned around and left. Because You gave me a purpose, when life seemed so pointless. Because You restored my happiness, when life seemed to snatch it away. Because You filled this emptiness, when the void echoed with loneliness. Because You helped me let it all go, when I gripped the tightest to hold on. Because You showed me the beauty of life, when the world showed me nothing but hate and corruption. Because You gave me a better life, when the old one fought to come back. Because I am nothing without You, nothing but a hopeless being. Because only You could tear down my wall of pride, and instead build it back up with love and humbleness.

My biggest thank also belongs to my greatest man and woman in this world. They are my-blue heart father, Jaudin Purba and my never-stop-struggling mother, Roslinta Sinaga. I give my words that the blue heart will turn to be green heart and to my mother I would say that you merely sit on your comfort seat and let me take your struggle. I also thank to my astonishing siblings. My sisters, Hotmawati Purba,


Mutiara Purba, and Naomi Purba. My brothers, Raden Purba and Ganda Purba. They are people who shoulder me to help me achieving my sky.

Another big thank I present to the Dean of Faculty of Cultural Studies, DR. Syahron Lubis, M.A., the Head of Department of English, DR. Muhizar Muchtar, and the Secretary of Department of English, DR. Nurlela, M. Hum and the Staff Administration of Department of English, Bang Amran, for their unforgettable helps in finishing my thesis.

My special thanks are addressed to both of supervisor, Drs. Umar Mono, Dipl. Trans., M. Hum., and Dra. Persadanta Br. Karo, M. Hum. I really thank for their great patience in guiding and motivating me in doing this thesis as perfect as I can. I really hope for their pray so I can be someone who may be higher than they expect.

My very special thanks are belonged to my red-blue-yellow mates who always stand, laugh, play, cry, fight, go shopping, and take time for galau in Kampung Susuk rice fields. They are the forest keeper Handani Hutapea (sorry bro) who is always being a mocking object in our group. Be patient pal. Even we always mock you but I also learn how to live this hard life through your way. To Muhammad Imran, our flirty man. Imran, just get enough with one girl and do not forget your promise to have a party in Tuasan. To Muhammad Idris, do not forget the purse we bought in Tomok. That is memorable bro and also the person beyond the purse. If we have another time let us take galau and narsis time in Kampung Susuk. To Andi Arianto, just be a more normal man. Do not talk as a crazy man. That is so funny mate and just remember to help mamak-mamak yang kena banjir di kost mu. To Frandy Sihombing, I think that is enough to take a semedi bro. Just take a rest and stop climbing mountains. To Dody Armansyah, do not wait a girl to shoot you. It will not happen. Last but not least to, Johan Tobing, just remember to cut your hair. You look like Mister Limbad mate.

To my “girls” friends, Rina Sari Nainggolan who always reminded me finishing my thesis. Thank you pal. To my opung Yosi Sitorus, my mamak Yuliza, Silau, Arianna, Disa, Juli, Inta, Melita, Aqiss, Dewi WJWJ, and other friend who could not be said here. Thank you for everything. I believe that the only thing that will redeem mankind is friendship and in the end, we will remember not the words of


our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Just remember our memorable and insane OEP, get trashed in our base camp, lab Bahasa and keep reminding these words: KEEP BEING PEMBANGKANG.

My last words belong to someone who take a paint and draw another color in my life. Someone who writes La Vita Nuova by saying:

“In that book which is My memory . . . On the first page

That is the chapter when I first met you

Appear the words . . . Here begins a new life”.

Someone who deserves to be fought as Paris fought for his Helen. Someone who treats as Tam Lin, sets me free from solitary days and bring me higher than Mauna Loa. I know it is hard but it is such a shame for us to part. Just take a rest for while and I give Filbert so every pain could be healed and let the Filbert grow into Freesia. I do not know what the life brings for us. For this life is unpredictable, that’s why everything is possible. For you someone who treats me your heart I just hope to be Myosotis sylvatica who always remains in your heart, brain, and life and someday when time comes unpredictably I could even say as Irish says “With these hands I give you my heart and I crown it with my love” and I take my Claddagh ring. To Someone, Regina Mutiara, this is not a battlefield since this is a life from God and for you, I say even all books in this world would not be enough to describe how mean you are.

I close my handwork by telling these words to people outside there: "If you want to identify me,

ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair,

but ask me what I am living for, in detail,


from living fully

for the thing I want to live for."

Thank you for making as strong as I am now.

Medan, 31st July 2012 The Writer

BUDI PARULIAN PURBA Reg. No. 080705031



Skripsi ini berjudul “Hedges in Barack Obama’s Speeches”. Orientasi dasar dari penulisan judul ini adalah kesadaran akan semakin berkembangnya komunikasi massa dimana bahasa sebagai bahan dasar dari komunikasi itu telah mengalami revolusi signifikan yang bermuara pada semakin variatifnya diksi dari sebuah kata. Bahasa sebagai alat komunikasi dirancang sedemikian rupa dalam paket kata-kata mengambang yang terdengar indah akan tetapi ketika sebuah elaborasi ilmiah diterapkan pada ujaran itu maka para pendengar akan segera tersadar jika ujaran seseorang tidak selalu indah di permukaan. Paket bahasa halus yang sering digunakan dalam pidato-pidato pencitraan para tokoh publik untuk menyakinkan para konstituennya dinamakan hedges. Secara awam hedges dapat diterjemahkan sebagai kata-kata yang bersifat tentatif atau kata-kata yang menyimpan keraguan-raguan di dalamya. Dalam skripsi ini figur yang kata-katanya menjadi objek penelitian adalah Barack Obama, presiden Amerika Serikat yang ke-44. Obama menjadi representatif para pemimpin dunia dimana pemimpin nasional sebuah negara seharusnya tidak lagi menyampaikan kata-kata mengambang (hedges) kepada rakyatnya yang membutuhkan sebuah kepastian. Dalam pidato ini secara purposive (orientasi tujuan) hanya 3 pidato Obama yang akan menjadi objek penelitian. Data yang berhubungan dengan hedges akan dikumpulkan dengan metode penelitian kualitatif deskriptif. Setelah elaborasi dengan berpijak pada teori Grice dan Yule ditemukan hasil sebagai berikut: Passive Voice Verb (1 Data), Hypothetical Construction (36 data), Epistemic Verbs (12), Adverbial Construction (13 data), Modal Verbs (38 data), Cognition Verbs (4 Data), dan Question Construction (5 Data). Untuk hasil presuppositon ditemukan bahwa Existential Presupposition (22 data), Counterfactual Presupposition (30 data), Non- Factive Presupposition (38 data), Factive Presupposition (13 data), Lexical Presuppostion (1 data) dan Structural Presupposition (5 data). Selain hasil numerik diatas ditemukan juga ekuivalensi antara asumsi awal yang dinamakan presupposition dengan makna yang sebenarnya yang dinamakan implicature. Kesejajaran itu membuktikan data ujaran yang dikumpulkan memang adalah ujaran hedges.






1.1Background of the analysis………...1

1.2Problem of the analysis………...6

1.3Objective of the analysis……….7

1.4Scope of the analysis………...7

1.5Significances of the analysis………...7


2.2Speech Theory...………..…………...10

2.2.1 Communication as Mold and Bond...12

2.2.2 Speech Situation ...13

2.2.3 The Units of Speech ...14 The Communicator ...………...14 The Message …………...………16 The Hearers ...……….16


2.3. Pragmatics: Science of Beyond Saying…...17

2.3.1. Far- Side Pragmatics: Beyond Saying……... 17

2.3.2 Austin, Searle, and Speech Acts…...18

2.3.3 Near-side Pragmatics …...21

2.3.4. Grice and Conversational Implicatures …...24

2.3.5 The maxims ...…...25

2.3.6 Hedges...…...26 Typology of Hedging Construction…...31

2.3.7 Presupposition …...34 Types of Presupposition ………...…….35 Projection Problem ...…...37

CHAPTER III METHOD OF RESEARCH 3.1Research Design………....39

3.2Source of data………...39

3.3Data Sampling...39

3.4Data collecting Procedures………...40

3.5Data analysis………40

CHAPTER IV DESCRIPTION AND FINDING 4.1The Profile of Hedges ……...………...42









Table 1 The Profiles of Hedges...42

Table 2 Projection of Presupposition... 53

Table 3 Implicature... 70



Skripsi ini berjudul “Hedges in Barack Obama’s Speeches”. Orientasi dasar dari penulisan judul ini adalah kesadaran akan semakin berkembangnya komunikasi massa dimana bahasa sebagai bahan dasar dari komunikasi itu telah mengalami revolusi signifikan yang bermuara pada semakin variatifnya diksi dari sebuah kata. Bahasa sebagai alat komunikasi dirancang sedemikian rupa dalam paket kata-kata mengambang yang terdengar indah akan tetapi ketika sebuah elaborasi ilmiah diterapkan pada ujaran itu maka para pendengar akan segera tersadar jika ujaran seseorang tidak selalu indah di permukaan. Paket bahasa halus yang sering digunakan dalam pidato-pidato pencitraan para tokoh publik untuk menyakinkan para konstituennya dinamakan hedges. Secara awam hedges dapat diterjemahkan sebagai kata-kata yang bersifat tentatif atau kata-kata yang menyimpan keraguan-raguan di dalamya. Dalam skripsi ini figur yang kata-katanya menjadi objek penelitian adalah Barack Obama, presiden Amerika Serikat yang ke-44. Obama menjadi representatif para pemimpin dunia dimana pemimpin nasional sebuah negara seharusnya tidak lagi menyampaikan kata-kata mengambang (hedges) kepada rakyatnya yang membutuhkan sebuah kepastian. Dalam pidato ini secara purposive (orientasi tujuan) hanya 3 pidato Obama yang akan menjadi objek penelitian. Data yang berhubungan dengan hedges akan dikumpulkan dengan metode penelitian kualitatif deskriptif. Setelah elaborasi dengan berpijak pada teori Grice dan Yule ditemukan hasil sebagai berikut: Passive Voice Verb (1 Data), Hypothetical Construction (36 data), Epistemic Verbs (12), Adverbial Construction (13 data), Modal Verbs (38 data), Cognition Verbs (4 Data), dan Question Construction (5 Data). Untuk hasil presuppositon ditemukan bahwa Existential Presupposition (22 data), Counterfactual Presupposition (30 data), Non- Factive Presupposition (38 data), Factive Presupposition (13 data), Lexical Presuppostion (1 data) dan Structural Presupposition (5 data). Selain hasil numerik diatas ditemukan juga ekuivalensi antara asumsi awal yang dinamakan presupposition dengan makna yang sebenarnya yang dinamakan implicature. Kesejajaran itu membuktikan data ujaran yang dikumpulkan memang adalah ujaran hedges.




1. The Background of Analysis.

New thoughts demand new words. This is the message of Immanuel Kant in the introduction of his second book “Critique”. This message, however, should not

be viewed as an expression of philosophical courage of creativity. It was inspired by the need of Kant to defend himself against the accusation of introducing a new language. Kant essentially notices that it is really critical to acquire new words firstly ahead of acquisition of new knowledge or new thought.

The acquisition of knowledge as explained above affects the ability of interpreting meaning in some discourses. The ability of acquiring meaning is supported by some particular fields in language science. To sum it up, a simple sentence is presented here as a case of interpreting meanings.

Father : Are you hungry? Kid : I had my lunch at 2 pm.

That is a kind of abstract meaning which the second speaker is involved in that short conversation do not express the real as expected by the first speaker. In that conversation, father sends an interrogative statement to his kid and father expects for the clear answer in a package of “Yes “ or “No”, since the question was delivered in a simple way that only needs one of those couple answers. Interestingly, however, the Kid does not send a direct answer as expected by his Father. Instead, the Kid said, “I had my lunch at 2 pm”. In a glance, it is hard to see the connection between the question and the answer. But, the communication still works. Even though, the


meaning was sent in an abstract way, father still could figure it out and would not buy a meal for his kid.

A simple case above has proven the statement “being meaningful is really essential in a linguistic expression”. In linguistics, meaning is deeply studied by using semantics theories. According to Locke, semantics is a branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning. In studying meanings, semantics deals with prior types of expression and not focus on the properties of speakers’ utterance. It means semantics study focuses to observe a construction of each sentence and then after observing it, the meaning included in could be found. Hence, when doing a study of meaning by using semantics approach, recognizing the units of language that constructs a text is the first step that should be done. Those units could be phonemes, syllable, morphemes, and words and so on. They are some of units of language that involved in building a text.

As other fields of study, semantics also has a branch of sub-unit of study that supports semantics in doing an observation of various meanings in every text. The branch named pragmatics. Pragmatics, like semantics, is also a study that treats meaning as its major observation. However, the thing that distinguishes pragmatics from semantics is pragmatics deals with meanings included in a speaker’s utterance or conversation while semantics deals with pure linguistics concern such as the units of language, types of expressions, and so on. Based on its use, pragmatics is often called as the speakers’ meaning. When someone utters he delivers two meanings, surface and deep structure of meanings. Here pragmatics is required to help us in understanding the deep meaning of the speaker since it usually occurs that the deep meaning has a different understanding than its surface structure. A clear example of


this case is shown above in the conversation between father and his kid. In this case the problem arises since the listener is not able to catch the meaning intended by the speaker because the speaker puts his intention beyond the linguistic structure of his speech.

In solving this problem, pragmatics as a field of study offers some theories that may be used in analysis of sentences. In this thesis, a particular theory to solve this problem is appeared. The theory named hedges. Hedge is one of the theories in pragmatics focusing to analyze level of sureness or vagueness in someone’s speeches. Hedge is a part of maxims theories in which this theory deals with endeavoring meanings through abstract words. Hedge is also commonly called as the truthfulness-theory since as it has been explained above that hedges may measure the vagueness of someone, whether he or she doubts or not with his own utterances. By reflecting to the hedges results it is easily known the level of sureness from someone to his own sentences.

The analysis is focused on some selected speeches of world figure. The option is based on a common consideration that whatever the situation is, a leader should not tell even a single hesitation in his or her utterances since it easily says that every single word from a leader gives significant and big impacts to his people. When a leader delivers a single hesitation in his or her speech ahead, his or her reliability will go down as a consequence. By reflecting on that fact, a leader needs much consideration before delivering his speech. As a leader, his position is much like someone standing on the highest perch on a hill. Everyone easily sees him and also judges him simultaneously. A leader cannot avoid that thing. That is the risk of being a leader. All he can do is preparing, collecting, verifying, and the reconsidering


his speech. When she or he meets their confidence about their speeches, then they may move and deliver it. Long consideration and good-persuasive words will place a leader to the most comfort place in his people’s heart.

As a proverb says: “ even a superman has his own cloudy and dreary day”, a leader also has his own bad moments. The moments that put them into the corner and they cannot escape from the trouble. Something goes so unexpected and as the stakeholder of his people, a leader should take the responsibility. They should report the problems to his people. If he or she is not able to convince his or her people that problems running can be solved a support for him will be decreased and even his or her people could do a rebellion against their leader. The rebellion is the embodiment of their disappointment toward his leader’s work. Hence, in this condition a leader, as also a politician, chooses a safe way in their speeches by using some very particular words that could save a leader from the bad judgments of his people.

Those very particular words are called hedges. Hedge seems like the only one way for a politician to save their own lives. Hedge becomes the last option since this technique does not provide the direct answer of something. When a leader is being asked for his responsibility toward a trouble, they are not necessary to answer “yes” or “no” of being suspected against the trouble. They use hedges since hedges place them between “yes” or “no”. There is no direct answer. Only a man with a special thought could interpret someone who uses hedges. By hedging the words a leader seems to give a direct answer toward a trouble but actually they do not. Hedge is often called as “a politician language”. This technique is commonly known among the politicians since they always seek a way that places them on a comfort place in the eyes of people.


The example of the use of hedges could be considered as the statement below, taken from one of Barack Obama’s speeches:

“Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage.” In the italicized words above, Obama implicitly delivered a statement which conscious or unconsciously contains hedging words. When the statement eleborated further, it will be easily seen that the statement is constructed in the form of conditional sentence indicating by the use of if. It is grammatically known that when conditional sentence is appeared, the fact is standing contrastly with the sentence. When Obama flouts that if we provide these affordable options the fact is the affordable options do not exist yet. The same condition occurs when Obama delivers the modal verb may.

The leader’s option to use hedges as the safe way from a problem clearly reflects the weakness of the leader himself. As a leader, he is insisted to be a tough man that claims both failure and success. If a leader does not confess honestly his weakness or his guilty, he simply does not deserve to be a leader. People depend on their decision. Every single decision issued by a leader determines a destiny of million people. People always reflect on their leader’s words and we can imagine the mess that would be arisen when a leader uses hedging words when delivering a speech ahead his people. People cannot trust him since he will not be able to give a way out of a problem. He just wants to save himself as a leader and does not have enough bravery of confessing his weakness.

Lying upon those issues, considering hedging words contained in the selected leader’s speeches would be an interesting discussion since by finding and counting


hedges in their speeches; the level of vagueness of the leader may be honestly revealed. Barack Obama’s, the 44th President of United States and the first Afro -American man that could reach the position, is the object to be analyzed. He is the leader of superpower country and we may argue that he is the number one man in this world. In this thesis, the way of Obama delivers his speech will be elaborated scientifically based on hedges theory. After elaborating the choosing of words in Obama’s speeches, then the focus moves to other side, considering the profile of hedges in his speeches, and then, ultimately, revealing the real meaning of hedges used in these speeches.

There are some selected speeches which are going to be disputed. The option is done randomly based on the urgency in time when the speeches were delivered since Obama was inaugurated as 44th American men that could reach that position on 20th January 2009. America is facing a big social problem now since the economic depression, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, people -health Act, and other social problems. Reflecting on those problems, most of Obama’s speeches discussed in this thesis are focusing on it.

As the number one man, Obama is seen as a measurement of most vital things in this world. Through the elaboration in this thesis; it will be revealed how tough and how frank Barack Hussein Obama is.

1.2. Problems of Analysis.

In elaborating the hedges problems in this thesis, the problems will be intentionally centered into three questions below. Lying upon these three questions, the elaboration will be expanded by not only answering those questions but also exploring theories that solve the problems. These questions are below:


1. How is profile of hedges in Barack Obama’s speeches? 2. What does every hedge in Obama’s speeches presuppose? 3. What does every hedge in Obama’s speeches implicate?

1.3. Objective of Analysis.

To make the analysis in this thesis become successful; it is necessary to make some definite objectives that could be used as guidelines to do the analysis. The objectives are arranged based on some kinds of problems appeared in daily life. The objectives lead to the something that should be found out and solved. The objectives that are intended to be stated are:

1. To find out the profile of hedges in Barack Obama’s speeches 2. To find out the implicature appeared in Obama’s speeches. 3. To find out what the hedges presuppose to.

1.4. Scope of the Analysis.

In discussing a certain problem in a certain field, giving a limitation in the explanation of problem is absolutely needed. The scope or the limitation is aimed to make the elaboration more focus to the problems that are discussed about and avoids the ambivalence in linking the problems and theory to solve it.

There are two scopes that are proposed here. First, the profile of hedges in Obama’s speeches would be stated further. The profile of hedges could be in form of words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. Secondly, then, the elaboration moves to present meanings implied in those hedges. The meanings-implied are called presupposition. Presupposition reflects what speakers actually imply when using


hedging words. Through this scope of analysis it will be more easily for the readers to figure out the problems and the ideas systemically.

1.5. Significances of the Analysis.

In this natural world, the significances of doing something could be viewed in miscellaneous ways. All of consideration about significances of something merely depends on someone’s perspectives. Yet, one thing that always happens is in doing something there is always a significance which influence to others, included this analysis. This analysis hopefully could give worth significances where:

1. This analysis could enrich the scientific research of hedges and gives another point of view in hedges analysis.

2. This analysis could give some information about hedges contained in Barack Obama speeches.

3. This analysis may give a significant consideration for readers in considering their political decision and political leaders.

4. This analysis practically could be used as a consideration for the readers who are working in the entertainment and political fields such as advertisement to use hedges theory in making their advertising words. For politician, it is useful to arrange their speech in order to maintain their position in the eyes of people.




2.1. Review of Studies

In doing an analysis scientifically it is really important to look upon another work which has been done before. Through reflecting on it, the analysis which will be done could take some different perspectives from those works, such as the theory, the methodology and the way they analyze the data. Those works, in a narrow or wide paradigm, may help to finish and conclude an analysis well.

In this analysis some peculiar works are appeared in an intention to give a worth consideration in doing this analysis. The first work which is going to be disputed is a scientific journal from Paloma Poveda Cabanes in Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. This thesis entitled “A Contrastive Analysis of Hedging in

English and Spanish Architecture Project Descriptions”.

In this journal, Paloma analyzed a corpus consisting of 14 architecture project descriptions in Spanish and 14 in English –with a total of 13.998 words (6.689+7.389 respectively)–, all written in their original language, that is to say, there are not instances of translations.


communicative strategies used by the authors of architecture project descriptions to express politeness, solidarity or deference towards their audience and to make their messages rhetorically appropriate. In doing his analysis Paloma walked on a method in which Paloma only reveals the illustrative and orientative purpose, and lack statistical value.

The result of Paloma’s analysis of hedging words reveals a wide array of rhetorical strategies. It can be said that the strategies described as depersonalization, detachment, modesty, humility, deference and solidarity seem to serve the author’s wish to show deference and politeness towards the audience. The author’s need to protect him/herself against the possible negative consequences of being proved wrong seems to be fulfilled by strategies of provisionality, tentativeness and justification. Finally, the expression of the author’s consideration of the degree of precision deemed necessary in his/her text is achieved by strategies of indetermination and accuracy level.

In the final conclusion, Paloma descriptively drew the phenomenon of hedging in architecture project descriptions is not apparently manifested at the surface level of the utterances, as seems to be the case in other genres. In other types of texts, hedging is mainly signalled by the insertion of certain elements or expressions which modulate the rhetorical weight of the statements but usually do not add any extra meaning. In most cases, the absence of these elements does not modify the semantic contents of the author’s statements to a great extent. Instead, the authors of architecture project descriptions tend to resort mainly to lexical choices which add a certain amount of information to the semantic contents of their statements. They try to be more precise and accurate in the selection of the words


which they judge to be most appropriate for fulfilling the specific goals of this communicative situation.

Besides the journal from Paloma, another work is appeared in this present analysis. The work was packaged in the journal form as well. The journal came from Iran which goes toward a motion “A Cross-Cultural Genre Study on Hedging Devices in Discussion Section of Applied Linguistics Research Articles”. Mahmoodreza Atai and Lela Sadr are the person who took the responsibility in arranging this journal. The present study aims to investigate the impact of language/culture on the use of hedging strategies in academic writing of English and Persian Native Speakers in English applied linguistics research articles. As the sample of analysis, applied linguistics research articles written by English and Persian Native Speakers were selected on the basis of stratified sampling randomization.

This is the different poin between both of these journals. When in the first journal, the writer has determined the researched material in the form of architecture project descriptions but in this journal the writer should use method of population and sampling in determining the researching materials. The similar condition happens to the present thesis analysis. The point of difference is Atai and Sadr used the sampling randomization method while in the present thesis, the way of selecting the researching materials is based on the level of urgency the speeches delivered. The discussion section of experimental and descriptive research articles were compared for the amounts and types of hedges through chi- square analysis. When Atai and Sadr count the amount it means the quantitative method is walking through


this analysis. This is also another critical different of Atai and Sadr’s journal with Paloma’s journal and also the present thesis.

The findings show that there are significant differences between hedges used by English and Persian speakers of English applied linguistics in the corpus. More specifically, English native speakers were found to use a variety of terms to express tentativeness and their degree of commitment towards their finding. The findings have implications for a number of disciplines, particularly teaching English for Academic/Specific Purposes

2.2. Speech Theory

Speech is one of communnication tools. It can be done formally or informally. Speech is alike another communication means. It needs specific way to be delivered so our speech can convince people who hear it. Hence, everyone who is curious to make his speech becomes something worth and significant to the readers, it is really essential to learn and to acquire the theory of speech.

2.2.1. Communication as Mold and Bond.

In his book General Speech Communication, Baird (1971:4) states that communication both shapes society and holds it together. In this world whatever people do, they always get involved with other people. Considering that thing, a man needs to understand and be understood by other people around him. An ideal society can exist only through interaction and mutual adjustment among people. It can be believed that every conflict existing among society firstly arise when there is a breakdown in the interaction. The conflict then tends to make disintegration among


the society itself. That is to say, only adequate communication can create and maintain the society to exist.

Communication through language holds an essential role in making society. That language also holds an important role in placing somebody among that sociaety. Due of the fact, people should learn some prior skills in communication to make their speeches have some control of their communication environment. The skills are obviously intented to make people’s speeches affect other people and could rise a mutual respect among people in that society.

Based on that view, people need more than usual communication in making them as somebody among the society. People should avoid vain words when they have a conversation with others or a man stands against people and delivers his speech. Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet says, “She speaks, yet she says

nothing”. How could be someone who speaks but he says nothing? At a glance, it sounds not make sense to the readers, but what Shakespeare wants to emphasize here that people, usually, go right with their own speech and they are unaware of the failures and problems appearing in their environment. This is a big problem faced by people who make a speech or other communication means. They communicate and they speak but the problems-as the main resources of the messages that should be delivered-are forgotten. Bairs emphasizes that, “effective communication requires sensitivity and skills that can only come from careful study of communication processes and an awareness of what you and others are doing as you communicate. It also requires a great deal of understanding of other people”. Regarding that outstanding statement it could be concluded that a good communicator is a man who


is perfectly able to combine skills, sensitivity of others and awareness of the environment to his speeches.

2.2.2 Speech Situation.

Speech is one of the means of communication. As elaborated briefly above, all communication events always involve a communicator as well as a speech. The communicator mixes the combination of ability in feeling sensitivity, applying his skill from the lesson that he has got, and the last, showing an awareness of his environment. Based on the theory viewed above, all communicators need to master those skills, included in speech communicator.

In the speech situation, the communicator should be able to recognize the particular speech situation in which the communicator is being involved. The recognizing of the particular situation of the speech is taken place gives a way to the communicator to affect people who hear his speech. When there is an affect upon the people that heard the speech, then the communicator ultimately hopes for the constant and significant change among the people of his environment. The change which the communicator hopes to be built is like a set of process which can not work in the initial work. The communicator needs a long term to build it as an influencing change for his environment.

The various parties of environment push the communicator to be able to gain various skills as well. The skills cover the ability to work with various individuals and people. The ability to work with numbers people will arise the ability to give solutions in various problems occuring in environment. When it is all done, the communication of the communicator will meet the peak of his leadership image. 2.2.3. The Units of Speech.


As another work, a speech also has some particular elements which build it up to be a good work. The experts sometimes have different perceptions in saying these elements. This thesis, however, decides to walk on the Baird’s theory since all the theory in writing the theory of speech above also comes from Baird. The elements which Baird outlines are: The Communicator.

Someone always iniatiates the process of communication. Sometimes the topic of someone’s communication is a designated topic, yet sometimes the topic of communication is formed in the sudden topic. In both cases of speech, the communicator initiates the communication with some peculiar reasons. The reasons of communication then could be some information or knowledge for the hearers.

Regarding that the communication of the speech speaker could be some precious information for its hearers; the speech speaker needs to be perfectly packaged so the message of his communication could be well delivered. The good speech speakers should be fulfilled some characteristics below:

1. Initially, a good speech speaker should have a good personality as well. When the speaker is able to build his good personality, conscious or unconsciously the hearers would send a positive respond toward him. A good personality which invites people’s admiring upon him is called charisma. In politic stage, it is commonly called as the process of building image over people. It can be done through propaganda advertisement, “meet and greet” with his people and so on. Indonesian President, our honored Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is one of the world figure who is considered achieved his seat through building a good image.


2. It is important for the speech speaker to be aware of the sensing of feedback from the hearers. Therefore, it is critically needed to learn interpreting hearers’ dominant attitude and when facing a restless attitude of his hearers, the speech better changes the way he delivers the message in his speech.

3. Superior intelligence is needed to be more effective speech speaker. By his knowledge, a speech speaker is able to expand his communication process and he could deliver what he knows to the readers.

4. A good speaker should also have an exercise of judgement. The exercise of judgement is an aspect of responsibility. The word “responsible” means the leader avoids false pretenses, misrepresentations, and unrealibility in both word and deed. A good speech speaker should be aware to the bias, prejudice, and injustice in seeing a problem which is being discussed in his speech. Through this exercise of judgement, a good speech speaker always seeks all relevant available information in making decisions. Based on it, when he delivers his speech he would give his opinions upon a problem with a bug of rational thinking. This thing reflects the speech speaker qualities.

5. Confidence and stage fright. The biggest problem that the speech speaker has is the lack of confidence (stage fright). The symptoms of stage fright are all the characteristics of typical fear responses. Typical fear responses can be understood as process of mental reaction which normally occurs when someone is invited to give his opinion before a hundred of eyes. To anticipate this problem, the speech speaker could firstly learn about human emotional behaviour. Through learning this method, it hopefully helps the speaker to stop thinking about nervousness. Preparing the material of topic which is going to be delivered is really helpful. Then, the speaker


should also maintain his concentration so he would miss the linking of his message. Many people hence believe missing of the linking of speech message often causes nervous to the speaker himself. The Message

The message may be long or short. It may be four hour speech or on the contrast, it may be merely taken one minute speech, as Soekarno did in Lapangan Ikada, Jakarta. The message of the speech may be an answer to some inquiry, an unbroken treatment of a theme, or an act of responsibility after doing something. The message in speech could be considered as individual original work or it may be finished by involving some certain men who are needed to enrich the content of the message. The Hearers

Adaptation to the hearers is one of the most important aspects of communnication. Communnication is a social activity. In general people do not talk simply to be talking or write simply to be writing; rather people communicate largely to help themselves adjust to each other and to their environment.

There are various ways in which the speaker could adapt to the hearers. The simplest thing which a speaker can do is to deliver his ideas clearly so the ideas are easily served by the hearers. Besides, the speaker should also match the ideas that he wants to deliver with the needs of the hearers. It means before delivering the speech, the speaker should understand to whom he talks. The speaker must be sensitive to their needs and with all great humility; the speaker should be able to put himself in hearers’ shoes because the effectiveness of the speech largely depends on the identification of hearers’ most needs.


2.3. Pragmatics: Science of Beyond Saying.

Since it’s born, there are various ways in considering pragmatics. Many experts state their opinions about this science. Sometimes, their opinions have point of similarity, but it also often occurs that their opinions stand contrastly. Based on the entire opinions of pragmatics, the present analysis here summarizes those opinions into two big clusters as elaborated below:

2.3.1. Far- Side Pragmatics: Beyond Saying

When dealing with far side pragmatics, the focus will be on the traditions in pragmatics inaugurated by the J.L. Austin and H.P. Grice. Both of these philosophers were interested in the area of pragmatics called ‘beyond saying.’ In the classic period, these phenomena were studied on the premise — a premise increasingly undermined by developments in pragmatics itself — that a fairly clear distinction could be made between what is said, the output of the realm of semantics, and what is conveyed or accomplished in particular linguistic and social context in or by saying something, the realm of pragmatics. What is said is sort of a boundary; semantics is on the near side, and those parts of pragmatics that were the focus of the classic period are on the far side.

2.3.2 Austin, Searle, and Speech Acts

The British philosopher John Langshaw Austin (b. 1911–d. 1960) was intrigued by words is used to do different things. Whether one asserts or merely suggests, promises or merely indicates an intention, persuades or merely argues, depends not only on the literal meaning of one's words, but what one intends to do with them, and the institutional and social setting in which the linguistic activity occurs. One thing a speaker might intend to do, and be taken to do, in saying “I'll be


there to pick you up at six,” is to promise to pick his listener up at that time. The ability to promise and to intend to promise arguably depends on the existence of a social practice or set of conventions about what a promise is and what constitutes promising. Austin especially emphasized the importance of social fact and conventions in doing things with words, in particular with respect to the class of speech acts known as illocutionary acts.

Austin began by distinguishing between what he called ‘constatives’ and ‘performatives.’ A constative is simply saying something true or false. A performative is doing something by speaking; paradigmatically, one can get married by saying “I do” (Austin, 1961). Constatives are true or false, depending on their correspondence (or not) with the facts; performatives are actions and, as such, are not true or false, but ‘felicitous’ or ‘infelicitous,’ depending on whether or not they successfully perform the action in question. In particular, performative utterances to be felicitous must invoke an existing convention and be invoked in the right circumstances.

However, a clear delimitation between performatives and constatives proved to be difficult to establish. There are explicit performatives; a verb used in a certain way makes explicit the action being performed: “I bet that there is a dangerous animal there,” “I guarantee that there is a dangerous animal there,” “I warn you that there is a dangerous animal there.” But the same action could be performed implicitly: “There is a dangerous animal there,” where both issues of (in) felicities and issues of truth/falsity are simultaneously present. Instead of pursuing the distinction between performatives and constatives, Austin (1962a) proposed a new three-fold distinction.


According to this trichotomy, a speech act is, first of all, a locutionary act, that is, an act of saying something. Saying something can also be viewed from three different perspectives: (i) as a phonetic act: uttering certain noises; (ii) as a phatic act: uttering words “belonging to and as belonging to, a certain vocabulary, conforming to and as conforming to a certain grammar”; and (iii) as a rhetic act: uttering words “with a certain more-or-less definite sense and reference” (Austin, 1962a, 95). Now, to perform a locutionary act is also in general to perform an illocutionary act; in performing a locutionary act, we perform an act with a certain force: ordering, warning, assuring, promising, and expressing an intention, and so on. By doing that, people will normally produce “certain consequential effects upon the feelings, thoughts or actions of the audience, or of the speaker, or of other persons” that Austin calls perlocutionary. At the point of his untimely death, Austin's work on speech act theory was far from complete. His main work, “How to do things with words” was published posthumously, based on lecture notes of Austin and his students.

Austin's student, John R. Searle (1969) in Kopa Korta developed speech act theory as a theory of the constitutive rules for performing illocutionary acts, i.e., the rules that tell what performing (successfully) an illocutionary act (with certain illocutionary force and certain propositional content) consists in. The rules are classified as (i) propositional content rules, which put conditions on the propositional content of some illocutionary acts; (ii) preparatory rules, which tell what the speaker will imply in the performance of the illocutionary acts; (iii) sincerity rules, that tell what psychological state the speaker expresses to be in; and (iv) essential rules, which tell us what the action concsists in essentially.


To make it much clear, the focus is reappointed again to the case of promising above. According to Searle's analysis, for an utterance by S to H to count as a promise must meet the following conditions:

 The propositional content represents some future action A by S;

 H prefers S's doing A to her not doing it, and S believes that to be so; and it is not obvious both to S and H that S will do A in the normal course of events;  S intends to do A; and

 Promising counts as the undertaking of an obligation of S to do A.

If someone, then, wants to make a (felicitous) promise she must meet these conventional conditions. The study of these conventional conditions for illocutionary acts, together with the study of their correct taxonomy constitutes the core of speech act theory.

Based on their essential conditions, and attending to the minimal purpose or intention of the speaker in performing an illocutionary act, Searle (1975a) proposes a taxonomy of illocutionary acts into five mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive classes:

 Representative or assertive. The speaker becomes committed to the truth of the propositional content; for example, asserting: “It's raining.”

 Directive. The speaker tries to get the hearer to act in such a way as to fulfill what is represented by the propositional content; for example, commanding: “Close the door!”

 Commissive. The speaker becomes committed to act in the way represented by the propositional content; for example, promising: “I'll finish the paper by tomorrow.”


 Expressive. The speaker simply expresses the sincerity condition of the illocutionary act: “I'm glad it's raining!”

 Declarative. The speaker performs an action just representing her as performing that action: “I name this ship the Queen Elizabeth.”

Speech act theory, then, adopts a social or institutional view of linguistic meaning. This is sometimes opposed to the intentionalist view favored by Grice (1957) and Strawson (1964), but there need be no inconsistency.

2.3.3. Near-side Pragmatics

In logic and in many of the investigations of logical empiricists in the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, artificial languages were the focus of attention. First the predicate calculus, and then various extensions of it incorporating modal and temporal operators seemed the appropriate linguistic vehicles for clear-thinking philosophers. Issues about the use of natural languages were often thought to be beyond the scope of the proof-theoretic and model-theoretic tools developed by logicians. As Stalnaker put it in 1970, the problems of pragmatics have been treated informally by philosophers in the ordinary language tradition, and by some linguists, but logicians and philosophers of a formalistic frame of mind have generally ignored pragmatic problems

The idea that techniques of formal semantics should be adapted to natural languages was forcefully defended by Donald Davidson, on general philosophical principles, and Richard Montague, who applied the techniques of possible worlds semantics to fragments of English in a body of work that was influential in both philosophy and linguistics.


These attempts make clear that, on the near side of what is said, semantics and pragmatics are quite enmeshed. The interpretation of indexical and demonstratives seems squarely in the realm of pragmatics, since it is particular facts about particular utterances, such as the speaker, time, and location, which determine the interpretation of ‘I,’ ‘you,’ ‘now’ and the like. But the relevance of these varying factors is determined by a non-varying rule of meaning, as Bar-Hillel (1954) had already observed.

In his essay “Pragmatics” (1968), Richard Montague, taken from Kopa Korta, generalized the concept of a possible world to deal with a number of phenomena, including indexicals. An index combines a possible world with other factors relevant to the truth value of a sentence. To study tensed sentences, for example, one incorporates times into indices. A sentence like “Elwood went to the store,” is true in a world, at a time. A sentence like “I went to the store,” would be true in a world, at a time, for a speaker: roughly, if the speaker went to the store prior to the time in the world.

If time is ignored in the sentence “I am sitting”, the meaning of the sentence could be understood as a function from pairs of speakers and worlds to truth-values. Suppose Moe is sitting in the actual world w and standing in alternative world w′, while Curley is standing in w and sitting in w′. “I am sitting” is true at <Moe, w> and <Curley, w′>.

A somewhat different approach to indexicality, implemented in different ways by David Kaplan and Robert Stalnaker, has been much more influential, however. Here is how Stalnaker put the key idea:


The scheme I am proposing looks roughly like this: The syntactical and semantical rules for a language determine an interpreted sentence or clause: this, together with some features of the context of use of the sentence or clause determines a proposition; this in turn, together with a possible world, determines a truth-value. An interpreted sentence, then, corresponds to a function from contexts into propositions, and a proposition is a function from possible worlds into truth-values. (Stalnaker 1970/1999, 36.)

Both of these philosophers develop a ‘two-tiered’ approach to the content of utterances of sentences containing indexical. “I am sitting” expresses the proposition that Moe is sitting in a context with Moe as speaker, a different proposition, which Curley is sitting, in a context with Curley as speaker. Thus we have two functions involved. The character (Kaplan) or propositional concept (Stalnaker) is a function from contexts to propositions. And, at least within possible world’s semantics, propositions are conceived as functions from worlds to truth-values.

This ‘two-tiered’ approach brings out what Moe's utterance of “I am sitting,” has and doesn't have in common with Curley's utterance of “You are sitting,” directed at Moe. They both have the same truth-value, of course, but more importantly both express the same proposition.

2.3.4. Grice and Conversational Implicatures When a diplomat says yes, he means ‘perhaps’; When he says perhaps, he means ‘no’;


When he says no, he is not a diplomat.

Voltaire (Quoted, in Spanish, in Escandell 1993.)

Herbert Paul Grice (b. 1913-d. 1988) emphasized the distinction Voltaire makes, in the opening quotation, between what words mean, what the speaker literally says when using them, and what the speaker means or intends to communicate by using those words, which often goes considerably beyond what is said. Someone asks his friend to lunch and his friend replies, “I have a one o'clock class I'm not prepared for.” Through that short conversation, it can be meant that his friend has conveyed to “someone” that he will not be coming to lunch, although he has not literally said so. He intends for that “someone” to figure out that by indicating a reason for not coming to lunch (the need to prepare his class) he intends to convey that he is not coming to lunch for that reason. The study of such conversational implicatures is the core of Grice's influential theory.

Grice's so-called theory of conversation starts with a sharp distinction between what someone says and what someone ‘implicates’ by uttering a sentence. What someone says is determined by the conventional meaning of the sentence uttered and contextual processes of disambiguation and reference fixing; what she implicates is associated with the existence to some rational principles and maxims governing conversation. What is said has been widely identified with the literal content of the utterance; what is implicated, the implicature, with the non-literal, what it is (intentionally) communicated, but not said, by the speaker. Consider his initial example:


A and B are talking about a mutual friend, C, who is now working in a bank. A asks B how C is getting on in his job, and B replies: Oh quite well, I think; he likes his colleagues, and he hasn't been to prison yet. (Grice 1967.)

What did B say by uttering “he hasn't been to prison yet”? Roughly, all he literally said of C was that he hasn't been to prison up to the time of utterance. This is what the conventional sentence meaning plus contextual processes of disambiguation, precisification of vague expressions and reference fixing provide.

But, normally, B would have implicated more than this: that C is the sort of person likely to yield to the temptation provided by his occupation. According to Grice, the ‘calculation’ of conversational implicatures is grounded on common knowledge of what the speaker has said (or better, the fact that he has said it), the linguistic and extra linguistic context of the utterance, general background information, and the consideration of what Grice dubs the ‘Cooperative Principle (CP)’:

2.3.5. The maxims

According to Grice, the CP is implemented, in the plans of speakers and understanding of hearers, by following ‘maxims:’

 Quantity

Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).

Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.  Quality


(Submaxims): Do not say what you believe to be false. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.

 Relation Be relevant.  Manner

(Supermaxim): Be perspicuous.

(Submaxims): Avoid obscurity of expression. Avoid ambiguity.

Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). Be orderly.

Frame whatever you say in the form most suitable for any reply that would be regarded as appropriate; or, facilitate in your form of expression the appropriate reply (added by Grice 1981/1989, 273).

2.3.6. Hedges

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. -George Carlin-

The terms hedge and hedging, in their literal sense, refer to the idea of ‘barrier’, ‘limit’, ‘defence’, or to the means used to protect or defend him. The concept of hedge in linguistics was coined by G. Lakoff (1972: 195), whose well-known definition of the term was: “Words whose job is to make things fuzzy or less fuzzy”. This definition became the starting point for several studies on this phenomenon, which has proved to have multiple facets and therefore has been approached in many different ways by each author. The meaning and scope of the


term hedge has expanded considerably from that time, and the approaches and conclusions of each one of the studies on the subject have also differed to a great extent, depending on the type of texts in which they were based (biomedical articles, legal texts, scientific research articles, etc.). In this paper, several aspects taken from previous research will be taken into account in order to apply them to a specific genre –the architecture project description. I will try to offer an overall view of the phenomenon of rhetorical attenuation in English and Spanish in this particular communicative situation.

Lakoff’s first works drew attention to the importance and the possibilities offered by the study of some fuzzy and vague expressions with the help of formal logic. His analysis focused on certain linguistically indeterminate items which are used to describe certain natural phenomena that fall in the periphery of the conceptual categories on which our perception of reality is based. Although he did not offer an exhaustive analysis of the phenomenon, and focused exclusively on its semantic aspects, Lakoff’s theories served to facilitate understanding of the semantic base on which the concept rests, opening the way to later analyses of the subject. His approach also suggested the importance of context and meaning in the study of linguistic phenomena, and for this reason most of these subsequent studies have evolved towards pragmatic aspects. From a formal point of view, as Crompton (1997) pointed out, the nominalization which Lakoff’s definition made of the word hedge suggested he was considering a discrete set of linguistic items. However, later studies have proved that the phenomenon of rhetoric attenuation can be formalized through multiple mechanisms which sometimes even include grammatical and syntactic aspects.


Basing on Lakoff’s work, and after studying the different functions of indeterminate expressions in spoken medical discourse, Prince et al. (1982) suggested the division of these linguistic items into two main categories: approximators –which express fuzziness or vagueness within the propositional content itself and which therefore constitute a semantic phenomenon– and shields – which express fuzziness in the relationship between the propositional content and the speaker and which therefore deal with the problem from a pragmatic point of view–. Within the category of shields they identified two subclasses: plausibility shields – expressing the speaker’s degree of certainty about the veracity of his message– and attribution shields –which attribute the idea expressed to someone different from the speaker.

The approach proposed by these authors has been, however, criticized by later studies as those of Skelton (1988), who observed that this distinction amongst different types of hedges is only sustainable in abstract terms and it is difficult to maintain in the analyses of the real use of language. Skelton proposes the abandonment of the term hedge in favour of a distinction between proposition and comment, and places the use of the communicative strategies of hedging within the framework of what he calls commentative language, characterized by the modulation of propositions.

This approach has also been questioned by other studies, exclusively centred upon the consideration of hedges as devices which express the author’s degree of commitment to the truthfulness of his/her statements. As Crompton points out, from this point of view, the scope of Skelton’s distinction is too broad and can lead to ambiguity, since there are many other types of comments which an author can make


to express different attitudes from those mentioned earlier. In this context, hedging language is no more than a subset of what Skelton described as commentative language.

Salager-Meyer (1995) also believes that the main functions of hedging are to protect the authors against reactions which their propositions might provoke and to reflect their modesty and deference towards the target audience. However, she agrees with Banks (1994) that this exclusive association of hedges with evasiveness and politeness must not obscure other important functions of this communicative strategy, referring to the use of certain indeterminate expressions which express vagueness or lack of precision without necessarily showing confusion or uncertainty.

Vagueness can fulfil two communicative functions. First, it can provide a more accurate representation of reality. It can describe the state of knowledge more precisely or present certain facts in areas which are characterized by constant reformulation and reinterpretation, such as those situated within the scientific field. Hyland (1995) points out the existence of this type of hedges which express vagueness and lack of precision, describing them as content-oriented. However, he also lists other functions of hedging such as the author’s wish to anticipate the negative consequences of being proved wrong and the function of expressing deference and politeness towards the audience. In short, for Hyland, the hedging phenomenon looks in three directions: towards the proposition, towards the writer and towards the reader.

On the other hand, vagueness can simply be more appropriate for the communicative situation which takes place at a specific time. Banks includes amongst the functions of hedges that of deliberately providing inconclusive or incomplete data,


simply because greater precision is not considered necessary or because the communicative situation is in a pre-informative stage. In other words, because there is more information available which will come afterwards or which can be made available for the reader if necessary.

Combining all these different approaches to the problem, a more recent theory such as that of Varttala (2001) starts from semantic considerations to state that the use of hedges can either increase or decrease the fuzziness of our conceptualizations of reality. These semantic features of hedging may, in turn, render the strategy useful in pragmatic terms, since they can make hedging fulfil several interpersonal functions depending on the type of communicative situation. The most common of these functions is linguistic politeness, although it is not the only one.

Mendiluce and Hernández (2005) also believe that nowadays the study of discourse modulation only makes sense within a pragmatic perspective, far from the initial semantic approach. They focus exclusively on the phenomenon of rhetorical appropriateness, stating that academic negotiation is sustained by a rhetorical process which fluctuates between respect for others and the affirmation of one’s self. In this process, hedges play a fundamental role which is directly related to the interpersonal function of language.

When this purely functional starting point is used, one could say that there are practically no limits to the number of linguistic expressions which can be considered as hedges, as Markkannen and Schröder (1997) have pointed out. There are no linguistic items to which this function is inherently assigned. The hedging quality is achieved through the communicative context. These authors also state that hedging is not an inherent characteristic of a text but rather a product of the communication


between the writer and the reader. In other words, the linguistic expressions used in hedging only acquire their meaning through the reaction they produce in the readers. Typology of Hedging Construction

Hedges can be examined as adverbials, epistemic verbs and modal verbs, clausal structures, hypothetical constructions and the anticipatory it-clausal constructions.

1. Adverbials


1. The length of the metal bar was approximately 22 cm.

2. Generally, girls are more eloquent speakers compared to boys.

3. His views on the matter were quite well received.

In the use of these hedges, some adverbials are placed immediately after the verb form such as approximately, but others such as quite modify an adjective. The word generally, however, modifies a complete idea expressed in a clause.

2. Epistemic Verbs


1. The graph suggests that there was a dip in the sale of Proton Saga cars between the months of January to March.

2. It seems that the football team manager will be replaced soon.

3. The new regulations appear to safeguard the interests of women, but they do not.

The epistemic verbs are a class on their own as they do not show action such as kick, wash, eat, etc. In the use of these verbs, a continuation is obligatory in the form of a ‘that’clausal structure or in the instance of ‘appear’, the use of the infinitive is obligatory if the subject is not of the cleft structure.

3. Modal verbs


1. Gases may be changed into liquids.

2. It would be inappropriate to discuss the matter with your colleagues.

3. The experiment on cloning could be dangerous to humanity.

4. Your teacher may have been able to help you with that application.

The modal verbs are verbs that allow the writers to express the tentativeness of the proposition. In the use of the modals, there should be a realisation of a gradation in terms of the strength of the claims made. Generally, the order that is followed is as follows (from the weakest to the strongest): might, could, should have, had better. An area of confusion could be in the choice of the modals with reference


to the tense such as can and could. Both are examples to express possibility in the future, but the use of can denotes a slightly more definite possibility. More often than not, the two forms are often seen as interchangeable. Could, would and might may not be the past form. The use of the modals may be realised in perfective forms which express unfulfilled or unrealised actions or events. Attention should be given to the use of modals with perfective and those without to suit the appropriate communicative act.

4. Cognition Verbs


1. I believe that we need to further explore the causes behind child abuse.

2. I surmise that there is a need for a more intensive English language programmes.

3. I think it is not a sound method for increasing productivity.

The choice of cognition verbs appears connected to a stronger stance taken in

mitigating the proposition. Personal pronouns always precede the use of such verbs

giving a focus to the writer’s assumption of personal responsibility. These structures are always followed by a that clause.

5. Hypothetical Constructions


1. If we agree on the report, then it can be handed up now.

2. Unless we attend to it now, we will not get the target results.

3. The machine could possibly be repaired for RM500.

In making a hypothesis, the hypothetical constructions using if and unless are

found in the subordinated clauses. Words like possibly and probably are more mobile

as they can be inserted into the verb phrase or in the initial position preceding the


6. Anticipatory it- clause


1. It is likely that the experiment will stretch on for another hour.

2. There is a tendency to under-declare the amount of taxes to be paid.

3. With English becoming more important, it is probable that more students will take the subject seriously.

The constructions make use of a dummy subject to begin a sentence. It helps to front the claim giving it more prominence in the proposition. These constructions also necessitate the use of a that clause to complete the sense of the proposition. There is a gradation in the intensity of the claims made. Words like seem, and appear are not as strong as words like believe and surmise. Each structure therefore


illustrates a specific stance chosen by the writer or speaker in conveying the intended message.

2.3.7. Presupposition

The concept of presupposition is often treated as the relationship between two propositions. In the case below, we have a sentence that contains a proposition (p) and another proposition (q), which is easily presupposed by any listener. However, the speaker can produce a sentence by denying the proposition (p), obtaining as a result the same presupposition (q).

Debora’s cat is cute. (p) Debora has a cat. (q)

When I say that Debora’s cat is cute, this sentence presupposes that Debora has a cat. In Debora’s cat is not cute. (NOT p)

The same thing holds true, that is, it presupposes that she has a cat. This property of presupposition is generally described as constancy under negation. Basically, it means that the presupposition of a statement will remain constant (i.e. still true) even when that statement is negated. Types of Presupposition

In the analysis of how speakers’ assumptions are typically expressed, presupposition has been associated with the use of a large number of words, phrases and structures. These linguistic forms are considered here as indicators of potential presupposition, which can only become actual presupposition in contexts with speakers. The types of presupposition are:

1-Existential presupposition: it is the assumption of the existence of the entities named by the speaker.


For example, when a speaker says "Tom’s car is new", we can presuppose that Tom exists and that he has a car.

2-Factive presupposition: it is the assumption that something is true due to the presence of some verbs such as "know" and "realize" and of phrases involving glad, for example. Thus, when a speaker says that she didn’t realize someone was ill, we can presuppose that someone is ill. Also, when she says "I’m glad it’s over”, we can presuppose that it’s over.

3-Lexical presupposition: it is the assumption that, in using one word, the speaker can act as if another meaning (word) will be understood. For instance:

Andrew stopped running. (>>He used to run.) You are late again. (>> You were late before.)

In this case, the use of the expressions "stop" and "again" are taken to presuppose another (unstated) concept.

4-Structural presupposition: it is the assumption associated with the use of certain words and phrases. For example, wh-question in English are conventionally interpreted with the presupposition that the information after the wh-form (e.g. when and where) is already known to be the case.

When did she travel to the USA? (>> she traveled) Where did you buy the book? (>> you bought the book)

The listener perceives that the information presented is necessarily true rather than just the presupposition of the person asking the question.

5- Non- factive presupposition: it is an assumption that something is not true. For example, verbs like "dream", "imagine" and "pretend" are used with the presupposition that what follows is not true.


I dreamed that I was rich. (>> I am not rich)

We imagined that we were in London. (>> We are not in London)

6-Counterfactual presupposition: it is the assumption that what is presupposed is not only untrue, but is the opposite of what is true, or contrary to facts. For instance, some conditional structures, generally called counterfactual conditionals, presuppose that the information, in the if- clauses, is not true at the time of utterance.

If you were my daughter, I would not allow you to do this. (> you are not my daughter) Projection Problem

George Yule has also called attention to the projection problem, which occurs when a simple sentence becomes part of a more complex sentence. In this case, the meaning of some presupposition (as a part) doesn’t survive to become the meaning of a more complex sentence (as a whole).

a. Nobody realized that Andy was unhappy. b. I imagined that Kelly was unhappy.

c. i imagined that Kelly was unhappy and nobody realized that she was unhappy. Through these examples, we can observe that, when the speaker utters (a), we can presuppose that she was unhappy and that, when she utters (b), we can presuppose that she was not unhappy. However, when the speaker utters (c), we can't understand what the speaker means by that utterance without a context because the two parts have an opposite meaning.

However, it does not mean that there are no situations in which the combination of two simple sentences in a complex one can be possible. For example:


a. It’s so sad. Blaine regrets getting Laura pregnant. (>> Blaine got Laura pregnant) b. Blaine regrets getting Laura pregnant, but he didn’t get her pregnant.

One way to think about the whole sentence presented in b is as an utterance by a person reporting what happened in the soap opera that day. In the example above, when the speaker utters he didn’t get her pregnant actually entails Blaine didn’t get her pregnant as a logical consequence. Thus, when the person who watched the soap opera tells you that Blaine regrets getting Laura pregnant, but he didn’t get her pregnant, you have a presupposition q and NOT q. In this case, we can infer that Blaine thought he was the father of Laura’s baby, but, in fact, he was not.

This shows that entailments (necessary consequences of what is said) are simply more powerful than presuppositions (earlier assumptions). In the example below, the power of entailment can also be used to cancel existential presuppositions. The King of Brazil visited us. (The king of Brazil does not exist).


Construction (5 Data). The result poses that Barack Obama used many hedges in his utterances and most of those hedging constructions are centered on verb form.

After elaborating the typology of hedging constructions in the data, the analysis moves to the analysis of kinds of presupposition and what every hedges presupposes. In the case of types of presupposition, the result poses as Existential Presupposition (22 data), Counterfactual Presupposition (30 data), Non- Factive Presupposition (38 data), Factive Presupposition (13 data), Lexical Presuppostion (1 data), and Structural Presupposition (5 data). Besides taking that conclusion, the result also poses that every hedges contains some early presupposition which are closely related to the assumption of tentativeness, sureness, and level of vagueness. Those results prove that presupposition theory focuses on a set of early assumptions of someone’s utterances and when it deals with hedges, the presupposition surely relates to the assumption of vagueness.

As the ultimate result which strongly proves that the results of this thesis were correctly related to the hedges is the discussion of implicatures. After presenting the set of early assumption named presupposition, then the implicature is the theory which interprets someone’s utterances reflect to the reality. The utterance can be said as vague utterance if the implicature (drawn as +> p) poses a negative position or contrast to the x factor ( x factor is understood as the real social condition). From all the implicatures presented in Table 3, the readers can see that all implicatures stand equivalently to a negative position (NOT p is true, +>p is expected to be true later) and contrast to the x factor ( +> p is in contrast to x factor).


based on the interpretation of implicature. The result also strongly recommends that the equivalence between the presupposition and implicatures ultimately proves that the hedges as shown in Table 1 are really tentative and vague utterance based on scientific proof called implicature and pressuposition.

5.2 Suggestion

Pragmatics is a wide array of language science and it grows rapidle in this recent decade. The development of pragmatics is much supported by the development of mass communication which insists people to be master in playing words to ensure his existence and his popularity among people.

The ability of playing words would lead someone to have a good sounding word that can be used in persuading people to convince people to follow and believe his ideas. Mass communication needs a good packaging not only in contain but also in the package. Both of those elements can be supported by acquiring pragmatics. Pragmatics provides a room to learn how to beautify a utterance so that utterance can be widely accepted without any further consideration from its hearers.

Hedging expression is one way provided by pragmatics which can be used to beautify a utterance. By using hedges people could put themselves in a safe position. When they doubt about something, they should not show their doubtness. They can use hedges to hide from being blamed for talking something that he does not well. On that occasion, hedges could be easily found in politicians’ language since politicians always try to put themselves in a safety zone.


Regarding those issues, the readers may take a special interest of pragmatics after reading this thesis. As stated before that pramatics is a wide science, the further reserach could take a research which also deals with hedges but with more elaboration such as measuring level of someone’s vagueness through calculating his hedges by using quantitative method since this thesis only pictures description of findings based on qualitative method. It is also possible to do a research by taking another object of reserach such as magazine and newspaper.

Further research also may relate their obseravation to another room of pragmatics. There are many other sides of pragmatics such as maxims, speech act and Cooperative Principle. Pragmatics certainly provides a wide way to analyze human’s language. Considering that thing, doing a research of language through pragmatics side takes a different taste since by learning pragmatics we learn how human produces words in a good package and how to be a smart man with smart words.



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