Deictic and Epistemic Distance in Polish
This work investigates the range of pragmatic contexts in which the Polish distal deictic TAM ‘there’ appears and argues that these environments share the feature of epistemic uncertainty, which is the semantic common denominator to all sub-modes of irrealis. The use of TAM in contexts of epistemic uncertainty is motivated by its central meaning. TAM can not only convey semantic distance (spatial) with respect to a proposition, but also epistemic distance, i.e. it can absolve the speakers from the responsibility for the truth of the utterance. Epistemic distance is the feature triggering the expansion of uses from one conceptual domain to another.