What is epistemic modality?

Epistemic Modality

Epistemic modality is a sub-type of linguistic modality that deals with a speaker's evaluation/judgment of, degree of confidence in, or belief of the knowledge upon which a proposition is based. In other words, epistemic modality refers to the way speakers communicate their doubts, certainties, and guesses—their "modes of knowing". More technically, epistemic modality may be defined "...as (the linguistic expression of) an evaluation of the chances that a certain hypothetical state of affairs under consideration (or some aspect of it) will occur, is occurring, or has occurred in a possible world which serves as the universe of interpretation for the evaluation process… In other words, epistemic modality concerns an estimation of the likelihood that (some aspect of) a certain state of affairs is/has been/will be true (or false) in the context of the possible world under consideration. And this estimation of likelihood is situated on a scale going from certainty that the state of affairs applies, via a neutral or agnostic stance towards its occurrence, to certainty that it does not apply, with intermediary positions on the positive and the negative sides of the scale".

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Some articles on epistemic modality:

Modal Verbs in Germanic Languages - English
... Most of them appear more than once based upon the distinction between deontic and epistemic modality Modal auxiliary meaning contribution Example can1 deontic/dynamic modality She can really sing ... can2 epistemic modality That can indeed help ... could1 deontic modality He could swim when he was young ...
Epistemic Modality and Evidentiality
... a proposition is based) to be a type of epistemic modality, and oppose it to judgement modality as epistemic modality based on the speaker's own judgement ... (judgement epistemic judgement of information source) I heard that it rained yesterday ... feel that evidentiality is distinct from and not necessarily related to modality ...