By Palmer F.R.
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Extra resources for Mood and modality
1). 2) will deal with purely evidential features, most importantly with Reported and Sensory. 2). Later sections deal with what seem to be other types of propositional modality. 1 The three types There are three types of judgment that are common in languages, one that expresses uncertainty, one that indicates an inference from observable evidence, and one that indicates inference from what is generally known. 1 Epistemic modality ťve respectively. An alternative name for the first is 'Dubitative', but, since t u e forms do not generally indicate positive doubt (Bybee 1985: 179), 'Speculative' is to be preferred.
It is not possible to say: *Yesterday Mary might/would arrive In other words the proposition can be in the past, but the modality (the judgment) cannot. (Admittedly, in literary language Mary might/would be there by now could occur as an independent sentence, but only to represent the thoughts of one of the characters, as in John relaxed - Mary would be there by now. ) There is a reason for this. Inferences or conclusions are essentially subjective and performative. They are actually made by the speaker, at the time of speaking.