Modality in English: Theory and Description

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Raphael Salkie, Pierre Busuttil, Johan van der Auwera
Walter de Gruyter, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 384 pages
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This volume presents two kinds of studies on English modality.

On the one hand, there are strongly empirical, corpus-based studies of individual uses of English modal auxiliaries and modal constructions, such as may in interrogatives, might in concessive clauses, shall and may vs must in legal English, the use of surprised if and surprising if constructions, the use and history of adhortative constructions, or the modal-aspectual use of come to in I came to realize that X. The book also contains work that presents new views on some of the classical issues, like the relations between modality and time, modality and commitment, modals and (inter)subjectivity. A special place is given to work that approaches the English modals from the perspective of the 'Theory of Enunciative Operations' developed by the French linguist Antoine Culioli and his colleagues.

Thus the book provides new perspectives and answers on basic questions about modality, in general, and its expression in English, in particular.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Towards a typology of modality in language
9
a neglected modal concept
31
Semantic ascent deixis intersubjectivity and modality
55
Degrees of modality
79
Another look at modals and subjectivity
105
For a topological representation of the modal system of English
123
Epistemic might in the interrogative
145
Legal English and the modal revolution
199
a case of interplay between syntax semantics and pragmatics
211
Using the adjectives surprisedsurprising to express epistemic modality
223
Commitment and subjectivity in the discourse of a judicial inquiry
237
Hearsay adverbs and modality
269
When Yes means No and other hidden modalities
295
Modality and the history of English adhortatives
315
On the great modal shift sustained by come to VP
349

MAY in concessive contexts
159
deontic modality in English statute construction
177
Backmatter
375
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About the author (2009)

Raphael Salkie, University of Brighton, UK; Pierre Busuttil, Universit de Pau, France; Johan van der Auwera, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

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