• Марија Кусевска
Keywords: evidentiality, epistemic modality, hedging, vagueness, politeness


Our primary aim in this paper is to contribute to the understanding of directness nd indirectness across cultures. Our secondary aim is to help to improve intercultural communication by focusing on those elements in speech that might lead to misunderstanding. Directness and indirectness seem to be two of the elements which most often lead to breakdown of communication between members of different linguistic or cultural groups, and lead to judgements of people from a particular culture as being rude or distant. In particular, we focus on evidentiality and epistemic modality as sources of (in)directness by discussing the translation of seem in the Macedonian translation of the book “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. Being marked for evidentiality and epistemic modality, seem functions as a hedge – a pragmatic function of linguistic means that allows the speaker not to express the commitment
categorically. Because of its multiple functions, seem has different translations in Macedonian. In this paper we focused on the instances with zero correspondences because they most significantly show that Macedonian is less tolerant for vagueness and tentativeness. Epistemic modality expresses the attitude towards the probability of proposition. It allows the speaker to convey that his position is not binding or that to some extent he distances himself from it.