The Development of the English Modals

A general outline of the history and function of the modals in the English language 2.1 The grammaticalization ± catastrophic or long-term change? 2.2 The Pre-Modals in OE ± Full verbs? 3. Conclusion 4. Bibliography 1.

Author: Katharina Reese

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 9783640774425

Category:

Page: 36

View: 432

DOWNLOAD →

Essay from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,7, Free University of Berlin (Institut fur Englische Philologie), course: History and Variation of English II, language: English, abstract: The question about the grammaticalization process of the modal auxiliary verbs from Old English to Modern English is a highly discussed topic among linguistics and scholars today. It is undisputed that, in the English that is spoken today, words like 'should', 'could' etc. form a separate category, or rather a subcategory, 'modal' that does not only syntactically differ from the usual English verbs, but also morphologically. That is, of course with the exception of a few regional variations such as for example Scots, but since the main focus of this paper is on the standard British and American English dialects, those regional non-standard dialects will not be taken into consideration here. For every native and average non-native speaker, it is natural that modals like 'will' for example don't take the obligatory inflectional ending -s in third person singular present. Or that 'should', 'would' or 'could' do not have past tense meaning, although the forms itself are actually a past form. And it is also natural that just those verbs, which we subcategorize as modals, will neither appear as infinitives with 'to' (*'I have to will'), nor do they require 'to' in combination with regular verbs (*'I should to go'). Today we instinctively know that those usual grammatical rules that regular verbs require to be followed in order to correctly be embedded in a sentence, don't apply to the modals. How did we get to this point, though? In the following paper I want to take a closer look at how the modals developed from regularly inflectional verbs, that they still were in Old English, to this new category 'modal' which is no longer a full verb that can stand alone in a sentence, but more of a grammatical function that signals either epi"

The Development of the English Modals

Essay from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,7, Free University of Berlin (Institut für Englische Philologie), course: History and Variation of English II, language: English, ...

Author: Katharina Reese

Publisher: GRIN Verlag

ISBN: 9783640774265

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 13

View: 319

DOWNLOAD →

Essay from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 2,7, Free University of Berlin (Institut für Englische Philologie), course: History and Variation of English II, language: English, abstract: The question about the grammaticalization process of the modal auxiliary verbs from Old English to Modern English is a highly discussed topic among linguistics and scholars today. It is undisputed that, in the English that is spoken today, words like 'should', 'could' etc. form a separate category, or rather a subcategory, 'modal' that does not only syntactically differ from the usual English verbs, but also morphologically. That is, of course with the exception of a few regional variations such as for example Scots, but since the main focus of this paper is on the standard British and American English dialects, those regional non-standard dialects will not be taken into consideration here. For every native and average non-native speaker, it is natural that modals like 'will' for example don't take the obligatory inflectional ending -s in third person singular present. Or that 'should', 'would' or 'could' do not have past tense meaning, although the forms itself are actually a past form. And it is also natural that just those verbs, which we subcategorize as modals, will neither appear as infinitives with 'to' (*'I have to will'), nor do they require 'to' in combination with regular verbs (*'I should to go'). Today we instinctively know that those usual grammatical rules that regular verbs require to be followed in order to correctly be embedded in a sentence, don't apply to the modals. How did we get to this point, though? In the following paper I want to take a closer look at how the modals developed from regularly inflectional verbs, that they still were in Old English, to this new category 'modal' which is no longer a full verb that can stand alone in a sentence, but more of a grammatical function that signals either epistemic or deontic meaning.

Modal Auxiliaries from Late Old to Early Middle English

Nagle, Stephen J. 1994. “The English Double Modal Conspiracy”. Diachronica 11: 199-212. --------------- and Sara L. Sanders. 1998. “Downsizing the Preterite-Presents in Middle English”. Advances in English Historical Linguistics (1996).

Author: Kousuke Kaita

Publisher: Herbert Utz Verlag

ISBN: 9783831643783

Category:

Page: 218

View: 890

DOWNLOAD →

Why do Modern English modal auxiliaries ought to, should, and must, meaning OBLIGATION, occur in the present tense, yet their forms are in the preterite? Why does to accompany ought? One of the solutions to these questions is to look at the history of the English language. This monograph deals with the history of ought to, should, and must, which are of different syntactic and semantic origins: ought to stems from a main verb of Old English āgan ‘to have’ (POSSESSION) along with to; should derives from sculan ‘must’ with its ‘deviation’ to shall, and mōtan originates in ‘to be allowed to’ (PERMISSION). The work concentrates on the transition from Old English (700-1100) to Middle English (1100-1500), which is a crucial period in the history of the English language. Topics addressed include the linguistic review of modality, the philological reading of primary texts, and the occasional reference to the other Germanic languages.

Emerging English Modals

If we believe Visser, this situation had lingered since Early Middle English - or even Old English it we accept modal status for discontinuous HAVE 'to. Most studies on HAVE To agree that Early Modern English is the central stage in the ...

Author: Manfred G. Krug

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110820980

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 346

View: 804

DOWNLOAD →

This work is essentially based on grammaticalization theory – a branch of linguistics which has gained prominence since the 1980s. It focuses on the interaction between diachrony and synchrony, langue and parole or, for that matter, competence and performance, I–language and Ε–language. It does not see these levels as distinct linguistic domains, as much structurally oriented work does. It is important for the present purposes that such an interactionist view entails that performance effects may over time cause new grammatical code relations. Hence the importance of statistical empirical research, which led the author to adopt a predominantly corpus-based approach.

Modal Verbs in Marlowe and Shakespeare

A standard reference worN on the evolution of English verb phrase from Old to Modern English is FrederiN Theodoor ... Visser (1969) investigates each modal verb separately, dealing with their typical forms in a chronological order.

Author: Monika Skorasińska

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 9781527533141

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 457

View: 833

DOWNLOAD →

This book provides a historical insight into the use and meanings of modal verbs in the language of the Early Modern English period. It investigates how William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe employ these verbs in their tragedies and history plays dating back to the end of the 16th century. Comparative analyses add to the clarity of the book and fill a gap in the research on Marlovian language, which so far has been under-investigated in contrast to the language of William Shakespeare. The findings offered here shed light on the history of modal verbs and constitute a valuable contribution to contemporary Early Modern English studies. As such, the book represents an important resource for students, teachers, and researchers involved in the study of Early Modern English language and language change.

The Oxford Handbook of English Grammar

Palmer associates all deontic modals with the function of laying obligation by the speaker, e.g.: (13) They must come in ... investigating more deeply the role of grammaticalization in the diachronic development of the English modals.

Author: Bas Aarts

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191071201

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 752

View: 957

DOWNLOAD →

This handbook provides an authoritative, critical survey of current research and knowledge in the grammar of the English language. Following an introduction from the editors, the volume's expert contributors explore a range of core topics in English grammar, beginning with issues in grammar writing and methodology. Chapters in part II then examine the various theoretical approaches to grammar, such as cognitive, constructional, and generative approaches, followed by the chapters in part III, which comprehensively cover the different subdomains of grammar, including compounds, phrase structure, clause types, tense and aspect, and information structure. Part IV offers coverage of the relationship between grammar and other fields - lexis, phonology, meaning, and discourse - while the concluding part of the book investigates grammatical change over time, regional variation, and genre and literary variation. The handbook's wide-ranging coverage will appeal to researchers and students of English language and linguistics from undergraduate level upwards.

Modals and Quasi modals in English

Bouma, L. (1975), 'On contrasting the semantics of the modal auxiliaries of German and English', Lingua, 37: 313-339. Bybee, J. and W. Pagliuca (1985), 'Cross-linguistic comparison and the development of grammatical meaning', ...

Author: Peter Collins

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789042029095

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 204

View: 919

DOWNLOAD →

Modals and Quasi-modals in English reports the findings of a corpus-based study of the modals and a set of semantically-related ‘quasi-modals’ in English. The study is the largest and most comprehensive to date in this area, and is informed by recent developments in the study of modality, including grammaticalization and recent diachronic change. The selection of the parallel corpora used, representing British, American and Australian English, was designed to facilitate the exploration of both regional and stylistic variation.

Modality Subjectivity and Semantic Change

In the present-oriented use, the force-dynamic value of the modals no longer pertains to the evolution of reality per se ... Overall, the development of the English modal verbs in Langacker's model can be described as a shift of potency ...

Author: Heiko Narrog

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199694372

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 333

View: 172

DOWNLOAD →

This book is a cross-linguistic exploration of semantic and functional change in modal markers. With a focus on Japanese and to a lesser extent Chinese the book is a countercheck to hypotheses built on the Indo-European languages. It also contains numerous illustrations from other languages.

Subjectification Intersubjectification and Grammaticalization

Overall, for Langacker, the development of the English modal verbs is an example of the attenuation of subject control ... is novel in relating facts in the development of English modals to a cognitive theory of language description.

Author: Kristin Davidse

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110205886

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 447

View: 259

DOWNLOAD →

The future of English linguistics as envisaged by the editors of Topics in English Linguistics lies in empirical studies which integrate work in English linguistics into general and theoretical linguistics on the one hand, and comparative linguistics on the other. The TiEL series features volumes that present interesting new data and analyses, and above all fresh approaches that contribute to the overall aim of the series, which is to further outstanding research in English linguistics. The book examines the relation between (inter-)subjectification and grammaticalization. As such, its aims are to clearly delineate the domain of (inter-) subjectivity - the encoding of speaker and hearer-orientation - in the language system, and to elaborate a grammar-based definition of the diachronic counterparts subjectification and intersubjectification. At the descriptive level, it seeks to test these hypotheses in three areas of grammaticalization research: adverbials, modals and the NP.

Morphosyntactic Change

In this they follow the scenario of Lightfoot and most other generative linguists for the modals. ... earlier biclausal structure in the development of the English modal and perfect auxiliaries than there is in the Georgian unda case.

Author: Olga Fischer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191514821

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 400

View: 839

DOWNLOAD →

This book presents a critical comparison of the two leading theories of linguistic change. After introducing the aims and methods of historical linguistics, Olga Fischer provides an exposition of the main theories used to describe morphosyntactic change and a full account of the causes and mechanisms by which their leading exponents seek to explain it. She measures the effectiveness of rival theories and methods in different contexts and in the process throws fresh light on the balance of factors influencing linguistic change. Professor Fischer emphazises the unity of form and meaning in the linguistic sign and examines the role played by analogy. She looks at how changes in discourse, lexicon, semantics, pragmatics, and sound interact with changes in morphosyntax, and explores the relationship between external and internal causes of change. She considers whether morphosyntactic change is gradual or abrupt and discusses how far rates of change reflect the degree to which grammar is innate or learned. She uses detailed case studies to illustrate different types of morphosyntactic change, and to show how each theory fares when put into practice. The author's clear style and her balanced approach to this fascinating and complex subject combine to make this a book that will be of central interest and value to scholars and students of linguistic change, at graduate level and above.