Evidentiality in the construction of historical significance by History majors

Teresa Oteíza, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Constanza Dalla Porta, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Mabelin Garrido, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile


Teresa Oteíza, Constanza Dalla Porta y Mabelin Garrido, 2014: "La evidencialidad en la construcción de la significación histórica por estudiantes de Licenciatura de Historia", Onomázein Número Especial IX ALSFAL, 57-80.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.alsfal.5

This article examines the historical and discursive mechanisms to construct evidentiality as part of the historical explanations used by History majors in
written texts. The corpus of the research is composed of 16 written answers obtained from the reading tests taken by first to third year history majors from three different courses of History of Chile. The research methodology takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines theories and methods from historical literacy and Systemic Functional Linguistics, particularly the appraisal framework (White, 2003; Martin& White, 2005; Martin & Rose, 2007). The article develops the methodological possibilities of the system of engagement
with the purpose of identifying the source of interpersonal meanings used to incorporate evidentiality in the discourse. The results of the research presented in the article take into account the implicated factors by which evidentiality works, as well as the formulation of the test’s questions and the type of evidence (primary source and secondary bibliography). The results show three predominant tendencies in the texts: a) the use of strategic heterogloss of intervocalization of dialogic contraction, which is used as a way to indicate the evaluator the knowledge of the facts presented in the primary source, without a more elaborated explanation of historical significance; b) the use of heterogloss of extravocalization of Attribution by Assimilation, without the implication that this incorporation of the evidence is of good quality, due to the fact that, in many cases, the evidence of the facts are incorporated in either a wrong or a strategic manner; and c) the use of heteroglossic resources of dialogic contraction and monoglossic resources that cover the voice of the evidence.