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Some Remarks on the degree of Certainty of the English Modals

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Authors
Cheon, Chongil
Issue Date
1984
Publisher
서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
Citation
영학논집 8(1984): 85-94
Abstract
Until recently there have been many attempts to provide a precise characterization of
modality in philosophy as well as in linguistics. Yet it cannot be said that the problems
of modality have been thoroughly settled. One of the most problematic phenomena, for
instance, with which many scholars have concerned themselves seems to be the semantic
equivalence between two modals, or between a modal and an appropriate paraphrase. In
particular, the semantic relationship and the related environments between may and can
have been one of the subjects which many linguists have trie!l to account for without
much success.
The purpose of this paper is to offer an explicit account of a degree of certainty of the
English modals,-among others, may, can, must and should in the epistemic sense. I
will begin , with regard to this question, by making clear the differences between two
alternative· views which Leech and Lakoff have taken on this problem of epistemic may
and can. And then I will point out that it would be necessary to revise Leech’s proposal
in some respects. In addition, my concern will be turned to the compatibilities between
must and should in their epistemic uses within the framework of possible worlds semantics.
Language
Korean
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/2603
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)영학논집(English Studies)영학논집(English Studies) No.08 (1984)
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