Modality as one of syntactic categories of language

Analysis of expression of modality in English language texts. Its use as a basic syntactic categories. Evaluation modalities of expression of linguistic resources. Composite modal predicate verb is necessary in the sense of denial assumption corresponds.

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Theoretical grammar

Course work

Modality as one of syntactic categories of language

Made by: Butenko J.A.


Scientific tutor: Shubina O. Y.



Human thinking appears as a result of the world perception and it is closely connected with language - the primary means of its expression. The category of modality is the category of language and presents in itself the judgement concerning the reality or the statement related to its ties and phenomena. In general, modality can be defined as the speaker`s attitude to the content of his statement and the relation of the content of the statement to the reality.

The speaker's judgment may be of different kinds, that is, the speaker may express various modal meanings. Modal verbs unlike other verbs, do not denote actions or states, but only show the attitude of the speaker towards the action expressed by the infinitive in combination with which they form compound modal predicates. These modal verbs may show that the action (or state, of process, or quality) is viewed by the speaker as possible, obligatory, doubtful, certain, permissible, advisable, requested, prohibited, ordered etc. Modal verbs occur only with the infinitive.

English modality can be expressed not only by modal verbs. Modality can be expressed by different linguistic means. In actual speech all forms expressing modality work together to make the meaning clear. But in every case there is some leading form that expresses the main attitude. These forms fall into four categories: phonetic (intonation) grammatical (mood) lexico-grammatical (modal verbs) lexical (modal words and phrases). But the most important from them is the third form which includes modal verbs. It is important to take into consideration one more feature peculiar to modal verbs.

We differentiate two types of modality: objective and subjective.

Objective modality is a compulsory feature of any utterance, and one of the categories which build up a predicative unit - sentence. This type of modality expresses the attitude of utterance to the reality. Objective modality connects with the category of time and is differentiated by the feature of time certainty - uncertainty. Subjective modality expresses the attitude of the speaker to the utterance. In contrast to the objective modality subjective one is an elective feature of the utterance. Semantic content of the subjective modality is broader than semantic content of objective modality. Semantic stem of the subjective modality makes up the conception of assessment in the broad meaning including not only logic (intellectual, rational) qualification of the utterance, but and different types of emotional (irrational) reaction.

The main purpose of this work to analyse modality expressing language means in English texts. The objects:

1. To give an idea of Modality as one of the main syntactic categories.

2. To pick up Modality expressing language from English texts.

3. To classify the means found.

The course work consists of theoretical and practical parts, conclusion and references. Practical importance of work is represented by possibility of using materials by students during the practical and theoretical grammar.

§1. Modality as one of the main syntactical categories of language

The category of modality is one of the most complicated linguistic categories which have various forms of its expression in the language. In the Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary modality is defined as a functional-semantic category which expresses different types of relations between the utterance and reality as well as different types of subjective evaluation of the information contained in the utterance. In the deepest sense, modality is concerned with the differing and varying levels of being; hence its central place in both ontology and epistemology. In Ch. Bally's opinion "Modality is the soul of a sentence; like a thought, generally, it builds up in the result of active speaking subject's operation ". Developing this thought P. A. Lekant confirms: "Modality is an obligatory and inevitable feature of the speech. Speaker cannot arrange and address utterance without its modal classification" [1,10].

It has also a lot of various definitions and interpretations. We call categories of modality the concepts of possibility or necessity, impossibility or unnecessity, contingency or incontingency, probability or improbability and their degrees -- as well as presence or absence. In practice, these concepts are expressed in sentences by words like 'in some cases', 'sometimes', 'can', 'may', 'might', 'possibly', 'potentially', 'permissibly', 'perhaps', and all their related terms. The differences between these modal expressions are not merely verbal [5,239].

1.1 Modality and its types

A. Kratzer, F.R. Palmer consider that there are six main types of modality. Six senses in which the various categories of modality may be understood. Within each type, all the categories occur, but with other meanings than in the other types. The categories have similar interrelationships and properties within each type. These uniformities allow us to abstract them, but nevertheless each type needs to be considered separately. The interactions between types must also be analyzed [6].

Quantity, or extensional modality, is the primary type of modality. And Aristotle thoroughly dealt with it .We are not consistent in our everyday use of terms like 'sometimes', 'can', 'may', 'might', 'must', and so on [7,7].

Ultimately these are semantic issues, not important to us. Though we must pointing out them. Logic simply establishes conventions for terminology, and focuses on the material issues.

Two more, temporal modality and natural modality interact intimately with quantity. Temporal and natural modality may be called 'intrinsic' modalities, because they concern the properties of concrete individuals; extensional modality is comparatively 'extrinsic', in that it focuses on abstract universals. While it is true that often the copula 'is' is intended in a timeless sense, we sometimes use the word with a more restrictive connotation involving temporal limits.

The temporal equivalent of what is a singular instance in extension, is a momentary occurrence. This is the unit under consideration here. When we say 'N is M' we may mean either that N is always M, or that N is now M, or even that N is sometimes M. This ambiguity must be taken into consideration by Logic. A possible modification of standard propositions is therefore through the factor of temporal frequency.

The most significant type of modality is called natural modality. This refers to propositions such as 'N can be M', 'N cannot be M', 'N cannot-be M', and 'N must be M', with the sense of real, out-there potential or necessity. Aristotle in his philosophical discussions ,recognized these relations, but he not systematically dealt with them in the framework of his logic works.

Temporal modality radically differs from such modality. We do not here merely recognize that something may be sometimes one thing and sometimes another, or always or never so and so. We tend to go a step further, and regard that there is a character intrinsic to the object which makes it able to behave in this way or that, or incapable of doing so or forced to do so. Thus, temporal and natural modalities represent distinct outlooks, which cannot be freely interchanged.

Also need to indicate two other main types of modality, the logical and the ethical. As it is previously stated, these types are each unique, and worthy of thorough treatment on their own.

Logical modality expresses the compatibility or otherwise of a proposed assumption with the general framework of our knowledge to date. Logical modality makes use of terms such as 'might' (or perhaps) and 'surely'(or certainly), for possibility and necessity. Remember that we defined truth and falsehood as contextual, so this definition fits in consistently.

To the extent that such an evaluation is scientific, based on rigorous process, thorough, common public knowledge, and so on, it is objective information. To the extent that thought is deficient in its methodology, such modality is subjective.

Whereas the extensional, temporal and natural types of modality may be called 'materialistic', in that they refer directly to the world out there, which is mainly material or in any case substantial, logical modality may be called 'formalistic', because it operates on a more abstract plane.

Ethical statements tacitly refer to some value to be safeguarded or pursued, and consider the compatibility or otherwise of some proposed event with that given standard. We use terms such 'may' (for permissible) and 'should' (for imperatives), to indicate ethical possibility or necessity.

Ethical modality is of course relative to standards of value. An ethical statement can in principle be judged true or false like any other.

Subjectivity comes into play here, not only in the matter of selecting basic values, but also to the extent that, in this field more than any other, factual knowledge is often very private.

Logic must, of course, eventually analyze such modality types in detail. But for our present purposes, let us note only that, in either case, the resemblance to the other types of modality is the aspect of conditionality. They are defined through the conditions for their realization.[4]

Their distinction is that they do not concern the object in itself (i.e. the N-M relationship as such) like the others, but involve an additional relation to man the knower of that object, or man the eventual agent of such object. The latter relation is thus a new object, which includes the former, but is not identical with it. Such modalities, then, are not essentially subjective, though they can degenerate into subjectivity, but rather concern another object.

Also there is another theory of modality which was provided by Ch. Bally and in accordance with it modality expresses two types of relations and includes two levels. That's why the linguists usually differentiate between two types of modality: objective (or primary) and subjective (or secondary). Ch. Bally considered that each utterance consists of two parts, the part which presents information (he called it 'dictum') and the part which presents the speaker's evaluation of this information (he called it 'modus').

The primary modality expresses the relation of the contents of the sentence to reality as established by the speaker who, choosing the appropriate form of the mood presents the event as real, unreal or desirable. It is expressed by the grammatical form of mood and thus it is a component of predicativity and as such it always finds a grammatical expression in the sentence.

Ex: You are my friend. Be my friend. I wish you were my friend.

Thus, primary modality as a component of predicativity is an obligatory feature of the sentence - we cannot make a sentence without expressing primary modality.

Secondary modality presents another layer of modality, built over the primary modality. It' does not always find an explicit expression in the sentence. Secondary modality is not homogeneous. It contains two layers and we can differentiate between two types of secondary modality. The first type expresses the relations between the subject of the sentence and the action. The action may be presented as possible, permissive, obligatory, necessary, desirable or unnecessary for the subject. It is expressed by the modal verbs in their verb-oriented meanings: ability, possibility, permission, necessity, obligation etc.

Ex: Children must be seen but not heard. I can jump puddles. You may be free for today.

The second type of secondary modality expresses the attitude of the speaker to the contents of the utterance or the speaker's evaluation of the event presented in the utterance. This type of modality can be expressed by:

1)modal words and modal adverbs and modal particles: maybe, probably, certainly, of course, perhaps, sure, evidently, supposedly, luckily, fortunately etc.:

Ex: This is probably the best chance you have ever had.

2) by modal verbs in their sentence-oriented meanings: probability, doubt, assumption, certainty, disbelief:

Ex: She couldn't have done it alone.

3) by modalized verbs seem, to appear, happen, chance:

Ex: She appeared to be holding something back from him.

4) by the so called performative verbs and phrases which name speech and mental acts: think, suppose, guess, doubt, be certain, be sure etc.:

Ex: I guess you are right. I am afraid this is true.

5) by special syntactic structures like 'tag questions' :

Ex: This is true, isn't it?

6) by intonation and word order.

Ex: George was standing in the garden. There was George standing in the garden.

As we can see the modal verbs participate in the expression of two kinds of secondary modality

1.2 Epistemic modality

Epistemic modality is “central from the point of view of natural language and is also grammaticized in the system of English” J. Kдrkkдinen. She stated that definitions of epistemic modality conflict partially. Some authors' definitions are related to belief and knowledge others involve `truth' in them. “Epistemic modality has to do with the possibility or necessity of the truth of propositions, and is thus involved with knowledge and belief” Lyons J. Similarly Huddleston R. argues that “epistemic modality is concerned with the truth status of the proposition in the light of what the speaker knows. Epistemic modality is orientated towards the speaker - it is subjective. Palmer sees epistemic modality “as indication by the speaker of his (lack of) commitment to the truth of the proposition expressed” and “as the degree of commitment by the speaker to what he says”. The matter of `degree' appears also in Bybee and Fleischman who say that “commitment to the truth of a proposition is often a matter of degree”. Duљkovб et al. claim that “besides the actual content of the proposition, the speaker can express the degree of conviction (certainty) of the real relevance of the proposition, i.e. whether the content of the message seems to the recipient certain, possible or impossible (different degree of probability)”. 

G. Leech and J. Svartvik speak of `scale of likelihood': “Instead of thinking of truth and falsehood in black-and-white terms, we can think in terms of a scale of likelihood; the extremes of the scale are impossibility and certainty (or logical necessity)”. Likewise Biber D. use the term extrinsic modality and define it as “referring to the logical status of events or states, usually relating to assessments of likelihood: possibility, necessity, or prediction”.

As was already suggested, epistemic modality can be divided into several types. For example Quirk R. distinguishes possibility (usually expressed by modal `may'), necessity (expressed by modal `must') and prediction (expressed by modal `will'). J. Kдrkkдinen summarizes that “the types of epistemic modalities most commonly distinguished by many of the above scholars are possibility, probability and (inferred) certainty, whether they make reference to truth in their initial definition of epistemic modality or not”.

§2. Analysis of language means of modality expressing

The problem of modality and its means of expressing doesn't come to the solution till nowadays. Despite of vast quantity of special researches devoted to analysis of modal category, its grammatical essence, the objects of arguing and disagreement among scientists are still such questions like the identification of the content of the definition “modality”, means of its expressing in concrete languages, its correlation with another categories and so on.

2.1 Analysis of modality expressing language means

The main means of modality expressing in language is morphological category of mood. Also modality is expressed by lexical means: modal and parenthetical words, verbs of certainty/uncertainty and verbs of intellectual activity, modal verbs, subordinating conjunctions (as if, as though, if, unless etc.) [2,153].

Modal verbs must, should - ought, will-would, can-could, may-might, need can express different kinds of assumption. Scientists suppose that modal verbs express an objective reality, and parenthetical words express a subjective one.

The verb must expresses a assumption that basis on facts and knowledge which is close to confidence. The combination of verb must with imperfect infinitive means that supposed act (or state) is simultaneously with made assumption.

Ex: Your father must be nearly eighty now.

You must be hungry after your long walk.

We must have taken a wrong turning.

The verb must is used in the meaning of the assumptions, probability, i.e., a large degree of confidence. The speaker believes that the assumption is quite plausible. In this meaning the verb must roughly corresponds to modal words: evidently, apparently, certainly, most likely, probably.

For expressing assumption verb must be used:

1. In combination with the Indefinite Infinitive to express assumption relating to this. Must in this case translates into English by must be likely, but the infinitive by a verb in the present tense. The combination must with the infinitive can be translated into English blend with infinitive:

Ex: He must know her address.

He must be in the Library now.

After the must is used, Continuous Infinitive, when it was suggested that the action happens at the moment of speech:

Ex: Where is he? - He must be walking in the garden.

Also must the probability value is used with the simple form of the infinitive of verbs not normally used in the form of a continued form (to be, to think, etc.,)

2. In combination with the Perfect Infinitive to Express assumptions, which refers to the past. The combination of the verb must with perfect infinitive indicates that the proposed action is preceded by a statement of the assumptions, while the premise may refer to both the present and past tense. Must in such cases be translated into Russian by it must be likely, but the infinitive is a verb in the past tense:

Ex: They must have forgotten to send us a copy of the telegram with their letter.

The cases must have been damaged during the unloading of the vessel.

It is important to note that the verb must in value assumptions used almost exclusively in affirmative sentences. In negative sentences, it is not used at all, and in interrogative sentences are rare, and these questions are rhetorical in nature.

In negative sentences the assumption is expressed using modal words evidently.

Ex: Evidently, she did not know my address.

When possible mixes with the shade of doubt, uncertainty, use the verb may. It means the assumption of possible actions which may occur, but it might not happen. The verb may in this value can be used as perfect and imperfect infinitive.

Ex: It may rain tomorrow.

I may be away from home tomorrow.

The modal verb may is used to Express assumptions, the plausibility of the speaker who is not sure:

1. In combination with the Indefinite Infinitive to Express assumptions relating to the present or the future. In this case, the verb may be translated into English means may be possible, and the infinitive of the verb in present or future time. The combination may with the infinitive can also be translated into the Russian language combination can with the infinitive:

Ex: He may not know her address.

He may come to Moscow in the summer.

After may used Continuous Infinitive, when it was suggested that the action happens at the moment of speech:

Ex: Where is he? - He may be walking in the garden.

For expressing assumptions may be used in the negative form:

Ex: He may not know her address.

You may not find him there.

2. In combination with the Perfect Infinitive of the verb may mean in relation to this time the assumption about the possibility of taking any action (or state) in the past.

Ex: He may have left Moscow.

He may have lost your home - address.

It is interesting to note that the verb may in the value assumption is very common in the artistic and scientific literature; for the latter it is more common use of the word may with perfect infinitive.

Professor L. C. Barkhudarov writes about using forms might that in combination might with the perfect infinitive form expresses a conjecture about the possibility of something, and the assumption with a high degree of uncertainty and doubt.

Ex: I don`t know how long the silence lasted. It might have been for half an hour.

The combination might c the perfect form of the infinitive can expresses also a proposed action, which is obviously impossible.

Ex: Had she been fourteen instead of twenty-four, she might have been changed by then (but she was twenty-four, conservative by nature and upbringing).

It should be noted that the form might in value assumptions is mainly used in affirmative sentences. If might have a negation, it is not related to the assumption, and to the action (or state) expressed by the infinitive.

Historically, the verbs should and ought are the two forms of the same verb expressing obligation. But with the development of language they denote different meanings in modern language, these verbs are already used separately and they are treated as two separate verb. Like the other modal verbs, the verb should lose their value, desirability and other than duties, also indicates an assumption based on facts.

Ex: It should be about five now [12,9].

The verb ought is used in a similar way, expressing conditional, based on certain circumstances, the probability. Ought loses its original meaning and also expresses an assumption based on facts.

The combination of verbs should and ought to with imperfect infinitive indicates a combination of assumptions and the proposed action (or state), the combination with the perfect infinitive is on the precedence of the proposed action expressed assumption. It should be noted that the verbs should and ought are interchangeable.

Ex: If he started at nine he ought to be (should be) here by four [11,7].

They left at nine, so they ought to (should) have arrived by now.

The author is a well-known expert, so his book ought to be (should be) reliable.

That should (ought to) please you [13,17].

Verbs should and ought to in the meaning of assumption can be used not only in affirmative and negative sentence, and denial is not related to the assumption, and to the action (or state) expressed by the infinitive:

Ex: It ought not to be very hard to find a man...[13,15].

The verb can - could in value assumptions used mainly in negative sentences (rarely in question) or in such affirmative form sentences in which lexically specified for the no action and limited (by words few, little, only, hardly, scarcely, etc). The verb can be used with both imperfect and perfect infinitive. In combination with the perfect infinitive verb can by denial means the impossibility of any action or some condition in the present. The verb can in this value inherent in an emphatic tone, and he bears emphasis:

Ex: You can`t really love me, or you wouldn't hesitate [12,6].

The combination of negative forms of the verb can with perfect infinitive means made this assumption about the improbability that the action (or state) has occurred in the past:

Ex: You can`t have tried.

Shades of meaning belief, wonder modal verb can save and in interrogative sentences:

Ex: What on earth can he be doing?

Composite modal predicate with the verb can (with negation) value assumptions correspond in English complex sentence beginning with the words "can't be that...", or a simple sentence, the predicate of which is the verb "can" (with negation) in the present or past tense, depending on the form of the infinitive (imperfect or perfect):

Ex: But the war can`t last forever.

He can`t have been a real gardener, can he [12,3]?

In the absence of negation, the combination of a verb can with the infinitive in English corresponds to the combination of the verb "can" in the appropriate time with the infinitive.

The form could with negation means the assumption relating to this time and made much more carefully than in the use forms can; the combination could with negation expresses doubt that the action (or state) can occur (if the imperfect infinitive), or was (perfect infinitive).

Ex: She is married. - Married!..But to whom? - To an English lawyer. - But she could not love him?

It was a little gold watch that could not have cost more than ten pounds [11,4].

The compound verb form could with negation in the value assumptions matches in the Russian language simple or composite (non-modal) verb preceded by the word "hardly", or composite modal predicate with the verb "can" in the form of the subjunctive mood ("could") or the form of the past tense ("was not able") depending on the form of the infinitive.

When the verb need is the modal value, it operates in negative sentences and in combination with negation means a requirement that the action (or state) takes place in the present, will occur in the future (when the imperfect infinitive) or occurred in the past (perfect infinitive).

Ex: It needn`t take you very long.

The verb need in the value assumptions used are quite rare, though, and can be found both in art and in the scientific literature (mainly Humanities).

Composite modal predicate with the verb need with negation in the sense of assumption corresponds in English a simple predicate expressed by the verb in the present, future or past tense (depending on the form of the infinitive), preceded by the words "not necessarily" or a combination of the words " not necessarily" and the infinitive [8].

Modal word in the Dictionary of linguistic terms is defined as "a word that has lost its specific lexical meaning and functioning as a means of descriptive expressions of modality".

English grammar Belyaeva, M. A. gives the following definition: "modal words are words that Express subjective attitude of the speaker toward the suggestion in the proposal thoughts.

Modal words are the part of speech to which are immutable words expressing a subjective attitude of the speaker to Express thoughts. Regarding the form in modal words are not developed in any single external sign. However, two other features - semantic and syntactic - presents quite clearly that makes many linguists to talk about modal words, as an independent part of speech. Semantic characteristic of modal words is their value is subjective attitude to the statement from the point of view of its reliability, predpolozitelnoi or desirability. In regards to the meaning of the modal words differ significantly from other important parts of speech, performing nominative function; however, the independence of the values they certainly are memorable, and not to the service parts of speech.

The syntactic function of modal words - function induction member suggestions or significantly less words.

Modal words can function as words, similar words-sentences approval and denial Yes and No. However, the words offer Yes and No never change their status, whereas the modal words can be words, sentences (in the dialog) or to be the introductory words in the sentence.

Professor L. C. Barkhudarov says that the proposal modal words always play the role of an introductory members of the sentence. HP Barkhudarov also provides a definition of modal words as words that have meaning only to inform you of the fact from the point of view of probability, possibility, connection with other facts, events, etc.

In addition, professor L. C. Barkhudarov notes that not every word that acts as an introductory member suggestions, belongs to the class of modal words. Modal words is a special part of speech, as well as introductory members can act and other parts of speech and words combinations: adverbs, prepositional momentum, infinitive constructions, etc. To modal words as parts of speech are only words, which are always, in all cases used in the role of an introductory member suggestions. These words are characterized by their immutability and limited compatibility with other words [3].

In modern English there are grammatical and lexical means of expressing modality. Grammatical means are modal verbs like must, should, ought, will/would, can/could, may/might, need. Moreover, these verbs weaken its initial value, desirability, of obligation, necessity, etc., and transmit only the relation of the speaker to the content of the assumptions in General. Modal verbs convey different shades of modality, starting with the assumption bordering on certainty and ending with the assumption in which the speaker is not sure.

Lexical means are such modal words as perhaps, maybe, probably, possibly. Many linguists say about modal words as an independent part of speech. Their syntactic function is an introductory member suggestions. The question of modal words was first staged by Russian linguists in relation to the Russian language. In foreign linguistics this type was noted, but was not allocated in a special category. The question arises how to deal with these units, syntactic position which does not provide information regarding their morphological nature. It seems that there are two possible solutions: either they are a special modal words, or that adverbs can function along with modal words. Some foreign and Russian linguists believe that these words are adverbs, involved in the field of modal words, without ceasing to be adverbs. Other linguists are firmly convinced that words such as perhaps, maybe, probably, possibly should include the modal group.

2.2 Classification of modality expressing language means

The three basic types of modality can be

defined as follows:

Inherent Modality. Characterization of the relation between a State of Affairs (SoA) and the realization of that SoA.

Objective Modality. Evaluation of a SoA.

Epistemological Modality. Expression by the speaker of his/her commitment

with regard to the truth of a proposition.

As can be seen, this initial division reflects the scope of each different type, i.e. as modifying a particular unit within a linguistic expression: inherent modality modifies predicates (layer 1), objective modality modifies predications (layer 2), and epistemological modality modifies propositions (layer 3). Following this first structural characterization, a subdivision in semantic terms will be offered, based on the assumption that deontic and epistemic contents are present at more than one level:

Inherent Modality. Ability (physical or acquired), volition, and deontic contents of obligation and permission.

Objective Modality. Deontic and epistemic scales.

Epistemological Modality. Subjective epistemic contents, subjective volition

(wishes or hopes)and evidential contents (experiential, inferential, quotative).

Finally, the procedures for expression can be of two types:

Lexical (satellites). Basic or derived predicates, embedding predicates, construed syntactic units (for instance, adpositional phrases).

Morpho-syntactic (operators). Verbal mood, clitics or other particles. Although the aforementioned description of expression procedures depends on a language-specific component which includes rules of expression, this model also allows one to make important cross-linguistic predictions , for instance the prediction that adverbs or adverbial phrases always express epistemological modality. The distinctions made in this section are summarised in Table 1:

Modality type


Semantic content

Expression procedure



Ability (physical or acquired), volition, deontic contents of obligation and permission

Predicates, predicate operators.



Deontic scale (from obligatory to forbidden) Epistemic scale (from certain to impossible)

Predicates, predication operators.



Subjective epistemic contents, subjective volition (wishes, hopes, etc.), evidentiality (experiential, inferential, quotative).

Predicates (including adverbs and adverbials), proposition operators.


In modern English there are grammatical and lexical means of expressing modality. Grammatical means are modal verbs like must, should, ought, will/would, can/could, may/might, need. Moreover, these verbs weaken its initial value, desirability, of obligation, necessity, etc., and transmit only the relation of the speaker to the content of the assumptions in General. Modal verbs convey different shades of modality, starting with the assumption bordering on certainty and ending with the assumption in which the speaker is not sure.

Lexical means are such modal words as perhaps, maybe, probably, possibly. Many linguists say about modal words as an independent part of speech. Their syntactic function is an introductory member suggestions. The question of modal words was first staged by Russian linguists in relation to the Russian language. In foreign linguistics this type was noted, but was not allocated in a special category. The question arises how to deal with these units, syntactic position which does not provide information regarding their morphological nature. It seems that there are two possible solutions: either they are a special modal words, or that adverbs can function along with modal words. Some foreign and Russian linguists believe that these words are adverbs, involved in the field of modal words, without ceasing to be adverbs. Other linguists are firmly convinced that words such as perhaps, maybe, probably, possibly should include the modal group.


Scientific literature in Russian

Панфилов В.3. Категория модальности и ее роль в конструировании структуры предложения, и суждения - ВЯ, 1977.

Черненко Д.И. Модальные глаголы английского языка. - М., Эксмо, 2008.

Бархударов Л.С., Штелинг Д.А. Грамматика английского языка. - М.1973.

Раевская Н. Н. Modern English Grammar. - М., 1976.

Scientific literature in English

Bloch M.I. A Course in Theoretical English Grammar. - М., 2000.

Palmer F.R. Modality and the English Modals. - Longman, London and New York, 1979.

Jenkins L. Modality in English syntax. - A.B.1964.

Natanson E.A. Oblique Moods and Modal Verbs. - M., 1968


О.С. Словарь лингвистических терминов. - М., 2006.

ABBY Lingvo x3 Dictionaru - 2014.


W.S. Maugham “Selected Prose” - М.,2004.

Shirley J. Charles. - M., 1949.

Joyce J. Ulysses. - New York, 1956.

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