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  • 1 St. Petersburg State University Russian Federation
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Summary:

The paper deals with the ways of expressing evidential and mirative semantics in the language of Roman comedy. The author claims that the phenomena under consideration belong to the grammar rather than to the lexicon of the Latin language, and shows that various evidential and mirative values can be expressed by the use of verbal tenses, voices, moods and syntactic construction. It is stressed that evidential and mirative functions in such units result only from the interaction of different linguistic parameters within a certain context and does not reside in the units taken in isolation. The main focus of the study is on the linguistic techniques which were preferred by Plautus and Terence. The comparative analysis of the linguistic strategies found in the author's present and the previous research demonstrates that the choice of a particular strategy depends on a given genre. Thus, some strategies (e.g., impersonal passive, inferential perfect and future, imperfect of a truth just recognized, mirative use of the subjunctive and infinitive) are preferred by comic poets while other techniques (e.g., deductive use of debere, gnomic future as a reportative strategy, cum inversum as a mirative device) which may be used in historic or epic narrative, never occur in the language of Roman comedy.

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