Constraining the identification of epistemic judges across different syntactic categories
As observed at various occasions, the usage of epistemic adverbs in information seeking questions is by far more restricted than the usage of epistemic adjectives. Starting from Lyons (1977) this contrast was motivated assuming that different types of epistemic operators come with different semantics and scope positions in the utterance, namely objective vs. subjective epistemic modality. However it is not possible to define clear classes of objective epistemic modal operators in terms of clear diagnostics. It will be shown here that the contrast of acceptability is more accurately explained in terms of locality and binding properties of the variable for the attitude holder rendering the epistemic judgement. If locally bound, epistemic modal operators can be embedded, if not, they are subject to much stricter conditions in order to be interpretable.