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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

When communicating uncertain facts, about risky outcomes or about the likelihood of future prospects, one may use numerical probabilities (e.g. there is a 20% probability) or verbal probabilities (e.g. there is a small chance). The present chapter provides an overview of the research into verbal probabilities; a survey of the methods used to tackle the meaning of verbal probabilities and unveil their usage; and an overview of the key findings in the field, including how people interpret the degree of certainty conveyed by verbal probabilities, the factors that affect this interpretation, how verbal probabilities are directional and can be used to frame uncertainty and the way speakers use verbal probabilities to make predictions.

Keywords: verbal probability, uncertainty, vagueness, politeness, outcome severity, directionality, methods

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