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Modality in RRG

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Abstract

In this paper we are concerned with providing elements of a characterisation of modality in RRG using data from Irish, a VSO language found on the west of Europe. We outline the characteristics of modality drawing on previous work on modality and modal logic, and relate this to patterns in sentence syntax and the semantics of the event frame. Issues of scope and negation are examined and presented. We extend the logical structure notation used in RRG (Van Valin 2005) to include additional logical notation to represent the modality expressions. Deontic modality is concerned with obligation and permission whereas epistemic modality is concerned with knowledge and belief. Modality is also concerned with coding of necessity versus possibility and, in some accounts, with the idea of “possible worlds” (Portner 2005). We motivate a relationship formally between deontic, dynamic and epistemic modality in terms of RRG. A characterisation of modality in Irish is also provided.

References

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