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The State University of Zanzibar

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1 The State University of Zanzibar
(SUZA) DE: 201 : VERB PHRASE, MODAL AUXILIARY Prepared by: Mr. Nahoda, A.M

2 MOOD AND MODALITY Mood is a set of contrasts which are often shown by the form of the verb and which express the speaker’s attitude or writer’s to what is said or written. Three types of mood Indicative Imperative subjunctive

3 Modality Modality is the expression of the speaker’s attitude concerning the truth of a proposition or the realisability of a proposition by some agent. Mood is a grammatical category associated with the semantic dimension of modality. Mood is to modality as tense is to time: tense and mood are categories of grammatical form, while time and modality are the associated categories of meaning. Modal auxiliary verbs are used to show modality. The English modals include can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must and ought(to),together with their negated forms

4 Characteristics of Modal Auxiliary:
a) Modals occur in the first position in the VP: He might be coming. b) They are mutually exclusive: *He might can go. c) They trigger off the base form of the following verb: I must go. d) They take the negative not/n’t directly: She may not come. I can’t go through with it.

5 Characteristics of Modal Auxiliary:
e) They do not occur in non-finite constructions: *musting *to might *shall+ed f) They do not exhibit past/non-past contrasts in the same way as other verbs. May and might can appear in structures where past/ non-past contrasts are not involved: I may go to London tomorrow. I might go to London tomorrow.

6 Characteristics of Modal Auxiliary:
g) They can all refer to the future, but with varying degrees of certainty: He will come. He may come. He should come.

7 Quasi-modals of two kinds:
a) Peripheral or Marginal modals: verbs like dare, need, ought to and used to which share some of the syntactic characteristics of modals: I daren’t move. You needn’t bother. He ought to have been practising. She used to be bothered by such things.

8 Quasi-modals of two kinds:
b) Quasi-modals or periphrastic modals: verbs which share much of the meaning of modals. These include: BE to —She is to try tomorrow. BE able to —He isn’t able to work so hard now. BE about to —I’m not about to throw it all away. BE going to —They’re going to regret this. HAVE to —We have to change these reports. HAVE got to—You’ve got to help. HAD better —It’d better be good.

9 Families of meanings expressed by modal auxiliaries :
There are three main families of meanings that the modal auxiliaries express : Epistemic (concerned with the logical structure of statements which imply that propositions are known or believed) Deontic (metaphysically, It is obligatory) Dynamic. ( Ability)

10 The Epistemic vs deontic contrast
Epistemic: the term derives from the Greek word for "knowledge“. modality expresses meanings relating primarily to what is necessary or possible given what we know (or believe) Deontic modality expresses meanings relating primarily to what's required or permitted: this term derives from the Greek word for "obligation".

11 Dynamic modality epistemic modality is about the truth of the proposition, such as guessing (‘They may have gone home at this hour’) 2) deontic modality is about the realisability of the proposition by some agent, such as granting permission (‘They may go home at this hour’). 3) dynamic modality expresses ability or inability

12 Meanings expressed by the modals
Can/Could: possibility, ability, permission The sports can take place in doors. In those day only men could vote in election. They say bill can cook better than his wife. May/ Might: : possibility, permission There might be some complaints You may be right You may borrow my bicycle if you wish

13 Meanings expressed by the modals
Must: Logical Necessity, Obligation The Smiths must have a lot of money She must be a sleep We must all share our skill and knowledge. Will/ Would: Prediction, Volition (intention, willingness, insistence) You will feel better after this medicine Oil will float on water (habitual prediction)

14 Meanings expressed by the modals
Volition is term used in the semantic analysis of grammatical categories, referring to a kind of relationship between an agent and a verb. A volitional verb or construction is one where the action takes place as a consequence of the agent’s choice. A non-volitional verb or construction is one where the agent has no determining infuence on the action.

15 Meanings expressed by the modals
Will/ Would: Volition (intention, willingness, insistence) We won’t stay longer than two hours. Will/would you help me to address this letters? (Common in request and offer) She ‘would keep interrupting me. (for insistence the modal is always stressed)

16 Meanings expressed by the modals
Shall/ Should: Prediction/Volition with 1st p. According to the opinion poll I shall win quite easily. We shall uphold the wishes of the people.

17 Meanings expressed by the modals
Ought to/ Should: Tentative inference ( The speaker does not know if his statement is true, but cautiously conclude that it is true. The mountain ought to be visible from here. These plant ought to reach maturity after five years. Ought to/ Should: Obligation. You ought to do as he says

18 Meanings expressed by the modals
Need, have to: Logical necessity, Obligation There has got to be some accident You have got to be back by ten o’clock NB. Must has no past form and no non finite form, hence have to is used in many context where must is impossible.

19 References: Cristal, David (2008) A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. Blackwell: USA McMahon, A and Aart, B. (2006) The Handbook of English Linguistics. Blackwell: USA Pullum, K.F and Huddleston, R (2007) A student Introduction to English Grammar. Cambridge: UK Quirk, R and Greenbaun, S. () A student Grammar of the English language. Longman. UK

20 References: Richards, J. Platt, J. And Weber, H. (1985) Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics. Longman. UK Roughtledge, C and Chapman, S (2009) Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language. Edinburg. UK Swan, Michael. (2008) Practical English Usage. Oxford: UK Todd, Loreto and Hancock, Ian (2005) International English usage. Routledge: London Trash, R.L (2004) Language and Linguistics; The Key Concept. Rougtledge: UK

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