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Modality in Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics

Modality in Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics


Part of Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

  • Publication planned for: February 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from February 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107021228

£ 85.00

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About the Authors
  • What do we mean when we say things like 'If only we knew what he was up to!' Clearly this is more than just a message, or a question to our addressee. We are expressing simultaneously that we don't know, and also that we wish to know. Several modes of encoding contribute to such modalities of expression: word order, subordinating subjunctions, sentences that are subordinated but nevertheless occur autonomously, and attitudinal discourse adverbs which, far beyond lexical adverbials of modality, allow the speaker and the listener to presuppose full agreement, partial agreement under presupposed conditions, or negotiation of common ground. This state of the art survey proposes a new model of modality, drawing on data from a variety of Germanic and Slavic languages to find out what is cross-linguistically universal about modality, and to argue that it is a constitutive part of human cognition.

    • Discusses mood-modality representations from different language perspectives
    • Provides innovative explanations for the links between modality and aspect
    • Avoids hard and soft approaches, and proposes a new view of the linguistic modules of mood and modality
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: February 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107021228
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from February 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Modes of Modality: Introduction
    1. Pragmatics: modality and speaker orientation
    2. (Inter) subjectification and foreign consciousness alignment
    3. Modality as distance – from aspect to modality
    Part II. Verbal Modality:
    4. The syntax-semantic-pragmatic interface of modal verbs
    5. The perspectival specifics of verb modality in German
    6. The syntax of modal verbs in German, Dutch, and English
    7. Modal verb semantics
    Part III. Adverbial Modality Distance: From Apect to Mpp:
    8. Modal particles: the enigmatic category
    9. The attitudinal force of modal particles
    10. Modal particles between context, conversation, and convention
    11. Modal particles outside of finiteness
    Part IV. Covert Modality:
    12. Covert patterns of modality.

  • Author

    Werner Abraham, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Werner Abraham is Professor Emeritus in Linguistics and Mediaeval Studies at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands, Honorary Professor at the Universität Wien, and is still active at the Ludwig Maximilan University of Munich, Germany. He is author of more than 350 articles, 5 monographs, and 35 book collections.

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