ABSTRACT

This paper attempts to clarify obscurity regarding classification boundaries of modal categories in English and related ambiguities in the interpretation of the modal expressions. By utilizing cognitive concepts such as modal forces, their sources and cognitive domains, this paper will attempt to provide a more explicit categorization of English modal categories in a mutually exclusive manner so that the domain-related usages of the modal verbs and the ambiguities in their interpretations can be accounted for in a principled and unambiguous way. Especially, this paper puts forth an expanded notion of dynamic modality that can deal with various usages of modal verbs which have been left unaccounted for.

KEYWORD

modality, epistemic modality, deontic modality, dynamic modality, modal force, cognitive domain

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