Chapter 6: Modality
Chapter 6 Modality Key terms • Ability and lack of ability • Advisability • Deontic modality • Epistemic modality • Expectations • Futurity • Lost opportunities • Modal verbs • Modality • Necessity and lack of necessity • Obligation • Possibility/likelihood • Permission • Polite request • Preference • Prohibition The previous chapters considered some grammatical issues, such as causa- tivity, transitivity, affixation, tense, and aspect. This chapter, completes the introduction to these grammatical issues by touching on modality and its types and functions in both Arabic and English. Further, this chapter provides the reader with an approach to translating modality from Arabic into English and vice versa. 82 Chapter 6 6.1 Modality While communicating with each other, language users are in need of expressing their own attitudes, opinions, or moods towards what happens, towards what exists in the outside world, towards the truth of an utterance, or towards the event described by that utterance. To do so, they need to fall back on modality. Modality is a concept used widely in a direct link with such notions as: • Obligation: We must not lose the match tomorrow, or we will be out of the tournament. • Necessity: I haven’t visited my friend for ten years, so I will have to visit her this summer. • Lack of necessity: In order to apply for this job, you must speak two languages, but you don’t have to have a degree in international relations. • Prohibition: You mustn’t use your mobile during takeoff. • Expectation: There are plenty of petrol stations in the town; it should not be too difficult to find somewhere...
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