Expressing Attitudes towards the Event
44.1) The meaning and functions of modality
Speakers can make an assertion or modify their commitment by expressing certainty or possibility based onevidence or interference.
Modality covers the notions of possibility, probability, necessity, volition, obligation and permission. Modality express relation with reality and non-modal treats the processas reality.
44.2) Realisations of modal meanings
Modality can be expressed by many forms. The most central syntactic class is modal auxiliaries, but there are other forms.
44.3) Extrinsicmodality: modal certainty, probability and possibility
To represent the degrees of confidence, there are three options: modal certainty, probability and possibility.
44.3.1) Modal certainty: will, must,be bound to
It’s when is not the hundred per cent certainty of an assertion.
44.3.2) Probability or ‘reasonable inference’: should, ought
It’s when is expressed a medium degree of conviction.44.3.3) Extrinsic possibility: may, might, could
It’s when is expressed a weak conviction of the possibility of a event to occur.
44.4) Structural features of extrinsic modality
The modal meaning ofprediction, certainty, possibility or probability is not itself past when we refer to past events.
44.5) Features of intrinsic modality: volition, obligation, necessity, and permission
Thesemeanings are usually used to maintain relations. Speakers can commit themselves to certain courses of action, and influence and control others.
44.5.1) Volition: willingness and intention
The conceptionof volition covers the meanings of willingness and intention.
44.5.2) Inescapable obligation: must, have to, have got to/gotta, shall
Obligation and necessity are inescapable duties orrequirements.
44.5.3) Negation of the modals must and may
In the negation of must and may, either the modal concept or the lexical concept can be negated.
44.5.4) Non-binding obligation: should, ought
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