Questions tagged [modality]

The grammatical category of modality includes realis/irrealis, epistemic, and deontic modality. If you want to ask about the subjunctive, optative, etc. morphological systems, then use the "mood" tag.

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How do you attest that two modal particles in different languages are of similar semantic attributes?

especially fellow English-Dutch speakers. I am wondering as to how we can attest that two modal particles in different languages share similar semantic attributes. Is there any metrics/theories to ...
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Formal semantics of the coordination of tense and modality

There seems to be a good amount of work on the formal semantics of tense, e.g. statements of the form "Dave ate the cookie," and also of modality, e.g. statements of the form "Dave ...
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Canonical treatment of tense and modality within formal semantics

I'm thinking about expressions like "Ronit must have won the game," where we have an intersection of tense and modality. Conventional wisdom is to use Kratzer's notion of ordering source and ...
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Relation Between Unreal & Past Tense Forms

Background I am learning English grammar. Having been confused about modal usage, I decided to pick out a book on the subject, coming to "Modality and the English Modals" by F. R. Palmer. In ...
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Formal semantics of phrases like “I need to go to the store”

Phrases like “I need to go to the store” do not express logical or contingent necessity. Possible words in which one does not go to the store feasibly exist. These phrases behave more as some kind of ...
m. lekk's user avatar
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Does epistemic modality include logical possibility?

Are all epistemically necessary propositions necessarily logically possible? According to the definitions used in common by McCawley's 1993 'Everything that linguists have always wanted to know about ...
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What is 'deontic modality' really? How to tell it apart from epistemic?

I have to walk the dog is deontic modality. I had to walk the dog is also deontic. But I must have walked the dog is epistemic (I am pretty sure) because the speaker means that, according to what they ...
minseong's user avatar
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Why would an adverb change the mood of a predicate?

With some limited knowledge (undergrad), I am trying to understand why (what appears to be) an adverb would change a predicate from irrealis to realis. This is a really complicated question, but ...
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Is it common for languages to incorporate hortative modality when there is one speaker present? i.e. talking to themselves?

I am an undergrad working with a papuan language. There is one sentence that was in the data that has me wondering about hortatives. The sentence, in english, translates to “Okay, I’ll just leave.” ...
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On modality and semantic roles

Do modal verbs (can, may, must, etc.) in any way affect the semantic roles of the arguments of the verbs that they govern? For example, consider the simple sentence: He plays basketball. Here, if I ...
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Angelika Kratzer's modal bases

In Kratzer’s theory, for each world w, modal base is the set of propositions p such that the speaker knows in w that p is true, e.g. f(w) = {p1, p2, p3}. Following the standard assumption in possible ...
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What is the relation between modal base and ordering source?

I edited the question again. Here is an explanation for epistemic modal, John must have the flu. a. Epistemic Modal Base (MBepis) = { John has a fever, John has a cough, John did not get a flu shot, .....
ronghe's user avatar
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What's the difference between logical modality and epistemic modality?

Logical modality includes logical necessity and logical possibility, while epistemic modality includes epistemic necessity and epistemic possibility. But when I read the explanation of these concepts ...
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Deontic aspect in circumstantial scope

In "Distinguishing between epistemic and circumstantial readings", a circumstantial statement is mentioned as maybe having a deontic aspect, but it's not made clear (OP leaves it unresolved in their ...
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What words relate to thinking about possible events? (Could've Should've Would've) [closed]

I'm thinking about how the mind works, and how the mind dreams or simulates events. This seems to be an important part of how the brain works so it seems like we should have special words to describe ...
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Transitivity analysis of subjunctives and imperatives

I'm attempting a functional analysis of the text of the Catholic Mass, primarily in English but with reference to the Latin. The use of grammatical moods is quite rich, with plenty of subjunctives ('...
Gareth Gilbert-Hughes's user avatar
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Explaining Grammatical "Mood" for the Laymen

I have seen "mood" a lot in linguistics articles, have read about it a few times, but it never seems to click. Wikipedia links to Linguistic modality. I have come across Modal Logic which basically ...
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Research on development of language of modality in children 8-12?

Let me quickly introduce myself to provide a context for my questions. My PhD research focuses on ways that we can teach primary school children (9-12) ways of handling complex, contradictory and ...
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Usage of pluperfect in English to talk about metaphysical possibility in the present

I hope that this is the right SE site to ask my question (as opposed to philosophy.SE and english.SE). I am interested in and know some logic, so I talk often with philosopher of language, even ...
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Reference and modality - T. Givon (2001), Syntax

First, I quote Givon (2001, Chapter 6.4.3.2, p.303) directly for my question : 6.4.3.2 The reference test for modality One of the most sensitive cross-linguistic tests for modality involves ...
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What type of modality is "You must not fear"?

Someone challenged me to translate the phrase "You must not fear" into my conlang, and I was stumped, because I couldn't pin down the modality of the phrase. I came up with a phrase meaning "You are ...
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Which language has the most types of irrealis moods?

A mood in grammar is a verb form that depends on how its containing clause relates to the speaker’s or writer’s wish, intent, or assertion about reality. Mood is distinctive from tense (how a verb's ...
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"Two tier" theoretical epistemic modality

Quite recently I have noticed that most Bavarian verbs can become theoretical epistemic modal. What I mean by that is that you can take any verb, e.g. "[i] ko" - "[I] can", and turn it into it's ...
Matthias Schreiber's user avatar
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Is the idea of "simultaneity" in sign language as opposed to "linearity" in spoken language really tenable?

I have seen scholars claim that... "sign languages are simultaneous whereas spoken languages are linear". In my opinion, however, the notion of "linearity" vs. "simultaneity" is misleading at best....
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Epistemic modality and the present tense in English

In this paper by Astrid De Wit and Frank Brisard, a unified semantics for the English present tense is proposed. According to their view, the present tense is all about epistemic modality: the ...
user132181's user avatar
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'modal' vs 'mode' vs 'modality' vs 'mood'

TL;DR (Actual Question:) I'm wildered; so please explain as though I were 10 years old. What are the similarities and differences? This doesn`t compare all 4 nouns simultaneously. A Student's ...
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1 answer
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Why are "dynamic" and "deontic" modalities so called?

It is said that there are three types of modality: deontic, epistemic and dynamic. Here are sample sentences for each type of modality: (1) You can stay as long as you want. [deontic] (2) You may be ...
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Evidentiality: Aspect or Modality?

I was curious about evidentiality. In Turkish, evidentiality can be seen as {-mIş} suffix, but English does not have any suffix to express. Take a look at this sentence: Babası ona yeni ayakkabı ...
Eray Erdin's user avatar
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1 answer
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Epistemic modality inside deontic scope?

I was taught (according to Role and Reference Grammar) that epistemic modality applies at clause level while deontic modality applies at core level. So in theory a sentence which has both would have ...
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What's the difference between irrealis and evidentials?

Yes, I've already read about irrealis and evidentials in wikipedia. It seems like these are talking about the same issue, except possibly the concepts arose separately to describe how each work in ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
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Distinguishing between epistemic and circumstantial readings (without recourse to temporality)?

How can you/should you empirically distinguish between epistemic and circumstantial readings of modals? I (at least think I) understand how the two readings are supposed to be distinguished ...
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