Modal Verbs

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  • Topic: Grammatical mood, Syntax, Linguistic modality
  • Pages : 18 (6064 words )
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  • Published : November 6, 2012
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COURSE PAPER

Modal Verbs

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ………………………..…………………………………..........3 CHAPTER ONE. CATEGORY OF MODALITY AND MEANS OF ITS EXPRESSION …………...…………………………...…......4 1.1. Notion of modality and history of its study ……….…….………….4 1.2. Modal verbs as means of expressing modality………………...........6 Conclusions to Chapter One ………………………………………………........12 CHAPTER TWO. LEXICO-GRAMMATICAL MEANS OF EXRESSING MODALITY …………………………………………...…..13 2.1. Modal verbs as means of expressing possibility and probability....13 2.2. Modal verbs as means of expressing advice………………… .…..14 2.3. Modal verbs as means of expressing necessity.………….………..15 2.4. Modal verbs as means of expressing permission and request …….18 Conclusions to Chapter Two …………………………………..………..……...20 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ………………………….………………..….... ..21 RÉSUMÉ ………………………………………………..……………..…...........23 LIST OF REFERENCE MATERIALS ……………..……………………....…24

INTRODUCTION

Modal verbs are common auxiliary verbs in Germanic languages including English that indicate modality. The meanings of modal verbs are extremely important for understanding how modal verbs work. This or that modal verb in one of its meanings can't form the past tense; in another meaning it is used only with a negative; in still another meaning it can't form a question or, on the contrary, is used only in the form of a question.

The meanings of modal verbs are created by the context and by the grammatical structures in which they are used. If the context is not clear enough, it may be difficult to understand in which meaning a modal verb is used. The meanings of modal verbs are a little difficult to single out and define clearly (especially if we try to define them in Ukrainian). For example, when speaking about the main meaning of the verb can, some linguists use the words "ability, possibility", others speak about "physical and mental ability", still others say "ability, power, skill, opportunity". The importance of the given paper is connected with extended usage of modal verbs as means of expressing modality in Modern English language. But the problem is that there are no modal verbs in Ukrainian or Russian and that’s why it is very difficult for non-native speakers to use modal verbs correctly. The object of the paper is study and systematization of the existing material concerning lexico-grammatical means of expressing modality in the English language. The subjects of the thesis are modal verbs as means of expressing modality in Modern English language. The aim of this thesis is to analyze and systematize modal verbs of the English language according to the functions they denote in the language. For the investigation of the given work such methods as statistical and distributional are used.

CHAPTER ONE. CATEGORY OF MODALITY AND MEANS OF ITS EXPRESSION • Notion of modality and history of its study

Notion “modality” goes back to classical formal logic, from which linguistics borrows the classification of propositions into assertional (propositions of reality), problematical (propositions of possibility) and apodictical (propositions of necessity), and besides into reliable and probable propositions. Thereby in a general way was specified semantic notional sphere of modality. In West-European linguistics Sh.Ballie’s conception of modality was widely spread. In his opinion, in any utterance/expression we can single out basic content (dictum) and modal part (modus), in which is expressed intellectual, emotional and volitional consideration of the speaker concerning dictum. He distinguishes explicit and implicit modus. The main form of expression of the explicit modus is the main clause consisting of compound sentence with object clause. Thus, in Sh.Ballie’s interpretation modality is presented as syntactic category, in the...
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