CONTEXTUAL FEATURES FOR IMPLEMENTING EPISTEMIC MODALITY

Keywords: epistemic modality, means of expression, subjective type of modality, contextual implementation, formal implementation

Abstract

Background. The article deals with the consideration that a speaker is the central figure for determination of modality as it is the speech subject that establishes the relations between an object and its predicated sign in an utterance. The subject of our research is epistemic modality, which is referred to a subjective type of modality; it is considered as the connection between a subject and an attribute. This connection is evaluated rationally by a speaker as his/her subjective mental construction rather than objective characteristic of the reality. The research objective is to demonstrate the alternative ways for expressing epistemic modality. The objective can be achieved by completing the following tasks: 1) analysis of theoretical material according to the research topic; 2) differentiation of the modality types in terms of certain features; 3) identification of traditional means to express epistemic modality; 4) determination of a contextual way of its implementation. The article objective requires application of several methods such as comparative contextual analysis and general text analysis. These techniques allow us to draw conclusions regarding the means of expressing epistemic modality as reliable as possible. A method of continuous sampling was used to accumulate actual material. Results. Attention should be also paid to the expression of epistemic modality by means of the context. It is no doubt that the abovementioned traditional and non-traditional modal markers can function within it; however, there are certain contexts where there are no markers of that kind at all. It means that, on the one hand, their presence is not obligatory for the modality implementation; on the other hand, the context becomes a field to cultivate some new – potential – means for expressing one or another attitude of a speaker / writer to the utterance and the surrounding reality. Conclusions. Epistemic modality of certainty / uncertainty in the English language is expressed with the help of thematic series of verbs united by the semantic invariant-meaning of the verb to know, modal words and short adjectives. Epistemic modality expressing a meaning of opinion – assumption in the English language is represented by the semantic invariant-meaning of the verb to think. Doubtful evaluation is explicated with the help of verbs and modal words united by the seme of assumption. Formal implementation of epistemic modality goes beyond the methods called the traditional ones. Attitude of a speaker to the reality, apart from the representatives proved by the linguistic science, can be explicated contextually, i.e. it is the context without use of certain verbs, adverbs etc. that is capable of indirect representation of a certain-type epistemics. Epistemic modality can be conveyed contextually as well. This type of its expression has blurred boundaries as opposed to the strictly identified markers.

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References

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Published
2021-08-08
How to Cite
Diachok, N. (2021). CONTEXTUAL FEATURES FOR IMPLEMENTING EPISTEMIC MODALITY. Journal “Ukrainian sense”, 1(1), 108-115. https://doi.org/10.15421/462109