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A monosemic account of modality in speech act theory
Niko Šetar, 2020, magistrsko delo

Opis: Connection between modality in the English language and pragmatics is a matter of extensive debate as it often seems there is no concrete way of establishing a sensible correlation between modality that an utterance contains and its pragmatic function, which is due to numerous issues pertaining to different accounts of both modality and speech act theory. Traditional view of modality splits modal verbs into three categories: epistemic, deontic and dynamic (also known as simple root modality). The problem with this view is that there is no way of determining whether a certain modal verb is used in epistemic, deontic, or dynamic sense as most modals can serve any of the three functions, therefore explaining modality within this framework is highly ambiguous even when relying on broader context of the utterance containing a certain modal. Traditional view of speech acts, on the other hand, divides them into locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary speech acts. Yet it would seem that all modalities pertain only to illocutionary speech acts, as they are the ones that express speaker's intentions, which are most heavily influenced by modality. The connection between traditionalist accounts is therefore quite impossible. A more contemporary view splits speech acts into assertive, commissive, constative, directive and imperative speech acts, while we may consider locution, illocution and perlocution to be aspects of these speech acts, rather than separate categories. In these case, different modalities may be connected to different speech acts, but the ambiguity that traditional view of modality contains persists into any attempt to draw the connection between modality and speech act. Therefore, an alternative account of modality is required. Two well-known such accounts are polysemic and monosemic views of modality. Polysemic views claim that every lexeme (in our case, a modal verb) may possess several semantic meanings, while monosemic views maintain that every lexeme can be defined in the sense of a single meaning. Reviewing polysemic accounts shows that their reliance on multiple meanings and definitions for every lexeme leads to similar ambiguities as the traditional view of modality, and can therefore not be used in our efforts. Monosemic views, however, differ greatly from one another. While some accounts have been shown to be inadequate, Groefsema’s 1995 account serves the required purpose. The author defines each modal verb in the sense of the proposition expressed by the modal and an additional minimal set of propositions that supports the use of that particular modal. Kissine (2013) similarly defines speech acts, thus a correlation between modal verbs and speech acts may be established. Finally, we attempt to show that each modal verb with a particular minimal set of supporting propositions can only feature in one type of speech act, thus also defining the speech act within which it is contained.
Ključne besede: Pragmatics, modality, speech acts, epistemic, deontic, dynamic, assertives, commissives, constatives, directives, imperatives, polysemy, monosemy
Objavljeno v DKUM: 16.09.2020; Ogledov: 1123; Prenosov: 104
.pdf Celotno besedilo (355,48 KB)

Modal Meanings in Different Text Types in the Field of Logistics
Polona Vičič, 2016, doktorska disertacija

Opis: The thesis sets out to investigate modality, which has been recognised as a central linguistic feature used for the expression of opinions and attitudes and thus also for establishing a dialogic relationship between the writer and reader. Following more recent, text-type oriented approaches to modality, which have recognised the importance of both genre- and discipline-specific conventions, the analysis aims to investigate modal verb use in different text types in logistics. Building on the finding that academic discourse is characterised by both objective (dynamic) and subjective (epistemic and deontic) presentation of claims it aims to establish to what extent the ratio between the two reflects genre- and discipline-specific use. The study is based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative (semantic) analysis, the results of which show that modal verb use in the analysed text types is characterised by a marked dichotomy between dynamic on the one side and epistemic and deontic use on the other, which, at least to some extent, could be related to the interdisciplinary nature of logistics. Furthermore, the analysed texts also show differences in the overall proportions of dynamic, epistemic and deontic use, which could be linked to the genre-specific style of each text type.
Ključne besede: modality, modal verbs, epistemic, deontic and dynamic meaning, text type, logistics
Objavljeno v DKUM: 18.10.2016; Ogledov: 1918; Prenosov: 134
.pdf Celotno besedilo (1,08 MB)

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