Verb Modality in English

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1. Introduction
2. Peculiarities of English modality
1. Modality
2. The linguistic expression of modality
3. Types of modality (according to Bybee)
4. Epistemic, deontic and dynamic modality
5. Flexibility of meaning
3. Practical part
3.1. English advertisements analysis
4. Conclusions
5. References
6. Summary in Lithuania
7. Appendix

I chose “Modality in English Newspaper Advertisements” because it seemed interesting topic to write about. This topic would be beneficial to my further study that is I would be able to distinguish modal verbs and their types in details. The paper involves modality and kinds of expressions that are use to explain and interpret the usage. One of paper’s basic notions is that modality cannot be easily defined, and its sub-category modal verbs of English present a number of difficulties. They might cause trouble for those who wish to learn the language. The aim of this paper is to analyze modality as a whole, distinguish modal verbs and other means of realization and explain their usage in the context by giving examples. Objectives for achieving the aim: ➢ To define modality;

➢ To draw characteristics of modality and modal verbs; ➢ To identify modal verb and other means of realization usage; ➢ To find out for what purpose modal words are used in advertisements. In this paper main discussion is about what influence modal words may have on people in advertisements such as denoting possibility, necessity or obligation. Based on different authors’ opinions, the paper tries to describe modality as simple as possible. Also to show that modality and modal words are two different subjects. Furthermore, I will describe each modal word and illustrate them in examples. This term paper focuses on modality and the usage of modal words in English newspaper advertisements. Also focuses on the framework within which it is possible to deal with modality and to consider some of the major issues that are involved. The focus of this paper mainly would be on modal verbs only. After analyzing these points, I would be able to distinguish modal verbs in the context, such as newspaper advertisements or novels. I divided my term paper into two parts. The first part includes theory about modality, types of modality that is epistemic, deontic and dynamic. And also a table is included with modal verbs and their usage. In the second part, I will try to analyze different English newspaper advertisements, to define what types of modality are used, to find out for what purpose modal words are used in advertisements and to state which type is mostly used.

An enormous body of literature has been written about modality, but unfortunately no agreement can be found between linguists. While reading a lot of literature I came to the same conclusion; modality is a wide term and it cannot be defined precisely. Below there are several definitions about modality: Modality can be defined as the grammaticization of speakers’ attitudes and opinions. (Palmer 1986:16) According to Palmer, it is the grammatical category with two sub- categories of modality, mood and modal system. (2003:2) Modality is the category by which speakers express attitudes towards the event contained in the proposition. (Downing 1992:251) Modality enables us to refer not to facts, but to the possibility, or impossibility of something happening, its necessity, probability, or certainty, whether an action is permitted, and so on. (Freeborn 1995:103) In Bybee it was argued that the category of mood is best viewed as a set of diachronically related functions, and it it was suggested there that a real understanding of modality would emerge from a study of these diachronic relations. (1985:191) Many linguists’ explain mood as part of modality, that the...
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