You are on page 1of 34

1 Mood, Modality and Modal Verbs 1.Introduction A distinction should be made between mood and modality.

Modality is a semantic/ pragmatic concept while mood is a grammatical category. This distinction is similar to the one between tense and time or gender and sex or aspect and aspectuality. The primary function of mood is to express modality and refers to specific linguistic forms or paradigms of forms, typically in verb inflection (Palmer 2001:4; Huddlestone&Pullum 2005:172), as in the contrast between indicative (realis mood) , subjunctive, imperative, infinitive (irrealis mood). Modality is defined as a linguistic category that refers to the factual status of a state of affairs/situation. Modality, hence, does not relate semantically to the verb alone but to the whole sentence. However, mood and modality are not always co-extensive . In many languages, not mood but certain modal systems (e.g. modal verbs in English; cf. Palmer, 2001:4) are the typical means of expressing modality. On the other hand, not all functions of mood markers necessarily express modality; we also have the other side of the coin, namely markers of grammatical categories other than mood may help to express modal notions, e.g. the past tense form of the verb is used for irrealis marking in English. As far as English is concerned historical change has more or less eliminated mood markers from the inflectional system (the only remnant is 1st/3rd person singular were), the mood system being rather analytic than inflectional (Huddlestone&Pullum 2005:172). Modal concepts and attitudes can be expressed in English by: (a) mood/inflectional markers : factual (indicative), non-factual (subjunctive, infinitive form, imperative form) (b) lexical modals: (i) adjectives: able, bound, certain, compulsory, imperative, likely, necessary, possible, probable, supposed, etc. (ii) nouns: allegation, assumption, certainty, likelihood, necessity, possibility, probability (iii) verbs: assume, believe, declare, fear, hope, imagine, insist, permit, presume, require, suspect, think, etc. (iv)adverbs: allegedly, certainly, possibly, probably, presumably, undoubtedly, (c) true modal auxiliaries: can, may must, shall, will, could, might, should, would, ought to, need, dare. (d) semi-modal verbs: have (got) to Roughly, modality is centrally concerned with the speakers/subjects attitude towards the factuality or actualization of the situation expressed by the non-finite part of the clause (the proposition p) (H&P:2002:173). Consider the following sentences: (1) (i) He wrote it himself (ii) He must have written it (iii) He must help him (iii) He may help him (iv)He may have written it

2 A declarative clause like He wrote it himself is an unmodalised assertion : the speaker is committed to the factuality of the proposition expressed (he write it) , i.e. the proposition is taken as a fact in the real world. Hence, the indicative mood is used. On the other hand, a sentence like He must have written it is modalised ; the truth of the sentence is presented as something that is inferred and not as something that is directly known (epistemic modality) A sentence like You must help him expresses a different kind of modality which is concerned with the actualization of a future situation, namely, you help him: I impose on you the obligation to bring this situation about. (deontic modality) The two modalised examples involve different kinds of modalities (epistemic ,deontic) but they express the same concept, namely the concept of necessity. The concept of necessity and the related concept of possibility are core concepts in modality. Modal possibility is illustrated in examples corresponding to the ones above by replacing must with may. The sentence He may have written it himself expresses the possibility of his having performed the eventuality described, i.e. it indicates an open attitude of the speaker towards the truth of the proposition (epistemic modality). Similarly, You may help him expresses the possibility of your helping him, i.e. the speaker gives permission and thus a potential barrier to the actualization of the situation is removed (deontic modality) 2.Distinctive syntactic and morphological properties of Modal Verbs 2.1. Modal verbs form a special class of auxiliary verbs, given their particular morphosyntactic properties which distinguish them not only from lexical verbs but also from other auxiliaries such as aspectual be and have. (Avram, 1999). (A) The NICE Constructions - Negation, Inversion, Code and Emphasis - distinguish between modal verbs and lexical verbs, placing modals within the class of aspectual auxiliaries: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Negation can attach to the modal without do-support: (1) It will not work Subject-auxiliary inversion is obligatory in questions and in tags, without do-support: (2) Will it rain? (3) She can walk, cant she? Modals can appear in the code construction without do-support: (4) Susan can help them and I can too /and so can I. Emphatic polarity is possible without do-support: (5) I WILL be there.

Besides the NICE properties, modal auxiliaries share the following properties with the aspectual auxiliaries be and have: (v) Stranding: (6) He cant come, but I can. (vi) Precede adverb/quantifier: (7) They will probably/all come (vii) Reduced forms: (8) Shell come later/ She wont come later (viii) Combinatorial and order restrictions; have, be and modals exclude any combination with do (see III above); there are also rigid restrictions on the sequence of auxiliaries; this indicates that auxiliaries have fixed positions: (9) She may have arrived/*She have may arrived

3 She may be coming soon/*She is may coming soon She has been reading/*She is having read B) Properties that distinguish between modal verbs and the aspectual auxiliaries be and have: (i) (ii) (iii) Modals show no person-number agreement: (10) *She cans do it Modals cannot co-occur: (27) *She must can help you vs. She must be able to help you Modals lack non-finite forms, consequently are excluded from constructions that require one. From a syntactic point of view modal verbs occur only in finite clauses: (12) to have had had - having to be -was been being (*to) can could- *could *canning *I regret not canning swim vs. I regret not being able to swim *I have could swim since childhood vs. I have been able to swim since childhood. *Id like to can swim vs. Id like to be able to swim Modals can only select a bare infinitive as complement (except ought): (13) They may come/be coming/have come The present /past distinction ; only some modal verbs exhibit a present/past alternation (which is semantically neutralized in many contexts):can/could/shall/should, will/would, may/might: (14) She could already swim when she was seven. vs. She could have told me the truth. 3. Types of Modality As already mentioned Modality is realized in standard English mainly by the use of modal verbs. It has long been acknowledged that modal verbs are ambiguous along at least two dimensions: (i) the root modal meanings and (ii) the epistemic modal meanings. According to Kratzer (1991), In using an epistemic modal we are interested in what else may (i.e. is possible) or must (i.e. is necessary) be the case in our world given all the evidence available. Epistemic modality is the modality of curious people like historians, detectives and futurologistsA historian asks what might have been the case, given all the available facts. Using a circumstantial (=root) modal, we are interested in the necessities implied by or the possibilities opened up by certain sorts of facts Circumstantial (=root) modality is the modality of rational agents like gardeners, architects and engineers. An engineer asks what can be done given certain relevant facts. This kind of information will generally be supplied contextually. The root modal meanings subsume deontic modality and dynamic modality. Deontic is derived from the Greek for that which is binding, so that it refers to concepts like obligation, permission. Deontic modality is concerned with the possibility or necessity of acts performed by morally responsible agents. The authority (person, convention, etc) from whom obligation, permission emanates is known as the deontic

(iv) (v)

4 source.. Prototypically, deontic modality refers to the speakers attitude to the actualisation of future situations (H&P 2005:178) Dynamic modalities are concerned with properties and dispositions (such as ability and willingness) of persons referred to in the clause, especially by the subject NP. Prototypically, no person or institution is identifiable as a deontic source. The boundary between dynamic and deontic modality is often fuzzy, hence they are grouped together under the heading root modality or agent-oriented modality. Compare: (15) (i) (ii) (iii) She can stay as long as she likes (deontic - permission) She can easily beat everyone else in the club (dynamic- ability) She can speak French (ambiguous) (H&P 2005:178)

Example (15i) gives permission, (15ii) is concerned with the subjects ability, while (15iii) can be interpreted in either way, deontically, as permitting her to speak French or dynamically as reporting her ability to do so. Epistemic is derived from the Greek for knowledge and roughly deals with the the possibility or necessity of an inference drawn from available evidence as to the truth (factuality) of past or present situations. Epistemic modalities are speaker-oriented. It is not the case that what is known is taken in the strong sense, but it should be understood as what evidence the speaker has in making an inference or drawing a conclusion. This personalized kind of knowledge reduces in fact to the belief-sets of the speaker. Epistemic modality involves the speakers mental representation of reality and the evidence he has for that representation based on inferential processes. The speakers mental representation of reality is a meta-representation of reality (cf. Papafragou, 2000). From the speakers point of view, the employment of epistemic modality rests crucially on his ability to reflect on the content of his own beliefs. The speaker takes into account the reliability of these beliefs and performs deductive operations on them. On this picture, in the epistemic interpretation of modal verbs, the speaker uses the embedded proposition (the non-finite part of the sentence) as a representation of an abstract hypothesis he makes (i.e. meta-representation) and sees whether this abstract hypothesis is compatible with, or entailed by his set of beliefs. Note that an epistemically modalised assertion is weaker in strength than its nonmodalised counterpart (i.e. in the modalised sentence the speaker is less committed to the truth of the sentence) although must conveys epistemic necessity. Compare: (16) (17) San Marino is the country with the highest life expectancy in the world San Marino must be the country with the highest life expectancy in the world

Sentence (16) offers a piece of factual information and the speaker trusts it to be true. In (17), the speaker possesses compelling evidence about the country with the highest life expectancy in the world but the possibility that there are pieces of evidence beyond the speakers beliefs is left open. These extra pieces of evidence may disconfirm the fact that San Marino is the country with the highest life expectancy in the world. That is why sentence (17) is felt as weaker than (16) in spite of the fact that must conveys epistemic necessity. One obvious consequence of the fact that epistemic modality involves the speakers mental representation of reality and the evidence he has for that representation is based on inferential processes is that epistemic modals, unlike root modals, cannot appear sentenceinitially in yes-no interrogatives: (18) May the race start?

5 Is there permission for the race to start? *Is it possible that the race starts? Should John leave? Is it required that John leave? *Is it predictable that John will leave?


In general, it is assumed that the root uses of modal verbs are more basic, with the epistemic uses rising by extension to the domain of reasoning of concepts primarily applicable in the domain of human interaction, such as compelling and permitting (H&P 2005:178). The sentences below are examples of root and epistemic uses of the modals must and may: (20) (i) (ii) (iii) (21) (i) You must do as you are told (root necessity) =you are required/obliged to do as you are told She must have already left (epistemic necessity) =it is a necessary assumption that she has already left John must be in class today (ambiguous) You may go if you wish (root possibility) =you are allowed to go if you wish He may have left (epistemic possibility) =it is a possible assumption that he has left He may sleep downstairs (ambiguous) (H&P:178)

As the examples show, both epistemic and root interpreted modals show a two-fold distinction between some kind of necessity (e.g. must, should, ought to, have to, nee d) and some kind of possibility. (e.g. may, can). According to H&P (175) the core modal concepts of necessity and possibility concern the strength of commitment (prototypically the speakers commitment) to the factuality (epistemic) or actualization (root) of the situation: necessity involves a strong commitment, possibility a weak one. Deontic necessity, i.e. obligation (which may range from strong to weak) is expressed by must, should , ought to, have to, need, while deontic possibility i.e. permission, is expressed by may or can. Epistemic necessity is expressed by must, need, have to, should, ought to, while epistemic possibility is expressed by may and can. In its epistemic use, can, just like need, is restricted to non-affirmative contexts. 3.1Root-Epistemic Contrasts. In the literature on modal verbs, it has long been assumed that we can identify grammatical features that distinguish between root and epistemic readings of modal verbs. In what follows we shall present a summary of the arguments for a structural epistemic-root split, following Papafragou (2000) 3.1.1Properties of the Subject. It has long been noticed (Hoffman 1976, Jackendoff, 1974, etc) that root readings of modal verbs, unlike epistemic readings of modal verbs impose selectional restrictions on the subject. Utterances with expletive or inanimate subjects are

6 anomalous with root modals, (irrespective of whether they denote necessity or possibility), while epistemic modals do not impose any restriction whatsoever: (22) (i) It may be raining (It is possible/* is allowed) (ii) The political uncertainty may lead to early elections (It is possible/* is allowed) (23) (i) There must be a demonstration today (it is certain/* required) (ii) The political uncertainty must lead to early elections (it is certain/* required) The distinct behavior of root vs epistemic modals was accounted for by assuming that root modals involve required or permissible actions performed by agents (hence in their root interpretation modals take two arguments: subject NP and complement clause), while epistemic modals involve the evaluation of a proposition as possible or necessary (hence they take one single argument, namely the proposition as such) The assumption that root modals have the ability to assign a subject role seems to be supported by the fact that root readings undergo a meaning shift in passivisation, while epistemic readings are unaffected: (24) (25) (i) (ii) (i) (ii) Relatives may visit the students on Monday (permission) Students may be visited by relatives on Monday The home team may win the game (possibility) The game may be won by the home team

The root readings of may in (24) differ in meaning: (24i) refers to the rights of relatives while (24ii) involves the rights of the students. The epistemic use of may in (25) does not show any meaning difference: both utterances communicate that there is a possibility that the home team will win the game. The generalizations concerning the properties of subjects are not absolute: expletives and inanimate subjects may occur in root (deontic) statements: (26) (i)There must be law and order in the country (it is required that; *it is certain that) (ii)The table should be ready for dinner at 7 (it is required that; *it is certain that)

Root readings permission and obligation- require a responsible agent for carrying out the activity and in these cases the agent is identified pragmatically. As far as the alleged meaning shift which root readings undergo in passivization is concerned, it is to be noted that not all root statements undergo such a shift (examples from Newmeyer,1970) : (27) (28) (i) (ii) (i) (ii) Sam must shovel the dirt into the hole The dirt must be shoveled into the hole Visitors may pick flowers Flowers may be picked by visitors

3.1.2. Properties of the Verbal Complement.

7 It has also been noted that root and epistemic readings of modal verbs impose different restrictions on the verbal complement from an aspectual point of view. Viewpoint aspect: Epistemic interpretations allow the presence of perfect and progressive aspect in the complement. Root interpretations exclude these forms. The following examples only allow the epistemic reading: (29) (i) (ii) He must have been very tired/She may have left John must be joking/She may be sleeping

A consequence of the aspectual restriction is that epistemic readings have present and past orientation, i.e. the speaker evaluates propositions about past (29a) or present (29b) events. Lexical aspect: Individuallevel states (i.e. inherent properties of individuals: have green eyes, be a native speaker, believe, know, etc) in the complement of the modal force an epistemic reading, not a root reading of the modal verbs; root readings broadly involve stage-level predicates (activities, events or stage-level states).These predicates refer to situations that can be brought about by an individual: He must have green eyes like his mother (it is certain that.*it is required that) They may be native speakers of Dutch (it is possible that*it is allowed that) People in this part of the world may believe in strange gods. He must know the answer. You must behave yourself (it is required that..*it is certain that) You may go now (it is allowed that*it is possible)



Note, nevertheless, that once the above state predicates are coerced into an achievement or activity reading (contextually) the root reading becomes available (examples from Papafragou and Barbiers 1995); the second condition to obtain a deontic reading with individual level states is that no co-reference be established between the subject and the bearer of obligation (see example (32iv,v): (32) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) I must be the best chess player there is (i.e. become) You must be honest . Do you understand? (i.e. act) You must believe in God or theyll burn you on the stake The new professor must be a native speaker of Finnish My blind date must be tall.

Zagona (1990) remarks that when the complement of an epistemic modal is stative, the eventuality-time of the verbal complement may be understood to be simultaneous with the modal time (i.e. the time at which the modal evaluation obtains) ; a future-shifted reading is also possible . When the complement of the modal is eventive, its eventuality-time is understood to be future-shifted with respect to the modal evaluation time (actually the interpretation is ambiguous between a root and epistemic reading). Habituals and progressive eventive predicates behave like stative predicates. Compare:


(i) (ii) (iii)

Epistemic reading: Jeremy must/should be in class today (simultaneous or future-shifted) Jeremy must/should leave today (only future-shifted) Jeremy must/should be lying on the beach by now (simultaneous)

Most root modals favour a future-shifted reading of the eventuality-time of the complement relative to the modal evaluation time regardless of the aspectual class of the complement of the modal, except in the case of ability readings of can and could.: (33) (i) You may go now (the event of going is future) (ii) She can swim (generic ability) (iii) She could swim when she was five (generic ability) 3.1.3. Ordering Constraints . When an epistemic and a root modal co-occur, the epistemic reading always scopes higher than the root, i.e epistemic > root. In English, the co-occurrence of two modal verbs is syntactically constrained but we may use semi-modals and other modal constructions (examples from Papafragou 2000): (34) epistemic > root They may have to go soon He ought to be able to do it He might be allowed to go there

According to Cinque the epistemic > root constraint belongs to Universal Grammar (i.e. it is valid cross-linguistically). There are no co-occurrence restrictions if the modal expressions are both root or both epistemic. (35) root> root You must be able to prove your innocence Epistemic > epistemic Necessarily, the solution to this problem may be false 3.1.4. Interrogatives. Epistemic modals, unlike root modals, cannot appear sentenceinitially in yes-no interrogatives: (36) (37) May the race start? Is there permission for the race to start? *Is it possible that the race starts? Should John leave? Is it required that John leave? *Is it predictable that John will leave?

Papafragou (2000) argues that it is hard to construct a context in which it would be felicitous for the speaker to ask whether a conclusion is possible or necessary with respect to his own set of beliefs.

9 However, once such a context becomes available, interrogative-initial epistemics become acceptable. Consider: (38) Might John be a liar? Must John be a liar?

Such sentences involve deliberative questions in which the speaker addresses a question to himself in an attempt to elaborate the evidence he has for a certain conclusion. 3.1.5.Negation. According to Coates (1983) negation affects the modal predication if the modal has root meaning (in this case we speak of external negation), while it affects the main predication if the modal has epistemic meaning (in this case we speak of internal negation) (39) You may [not be given this opportunity again] (epistemic) may [not ] It is possible that you will not be given - internal negation You [may not ] enter (root) not [may] You are not allowed to enter -external negation

An exception is root must where negation affects the verbal complement and the suppletive form need is used (40): (40) You mustnt eat it all must [not] (root) It is necessary [that you not eat it all] internal negation You neednt eat it all not[need] (root) It is not necessary [for you to eat it all] external negation

The above stated claim turns out to be wrong when other modals are taken into consideration. Consider the examples below, where should, ought to (Cormack &Smith 2002) are interpreted outside negation (assume wide scope over negation, i.e. the negative morpheme negates the predicate) irrespective of their interpretation: (41) Alfred shouldnt eat nuts (root) should [not] It is advisable [for Alfred not to eat nuts] internal negation Bob shouldnt be late (epistemic) should [not] It is predictable [that Bob will not be late]- internal negation Mary ought not to leave (root) ought [not] It is required [that Mary does not leave]- internal negation There oughtnt to be a problem finding the way. (epistemic) ought[not] it is predictable [that there will not be a problem] - internal negation A second group of modals consistently fall under negation,i.e. it is the modal that is negated; in these cases we have external negation: can, could, need, dare: (42) George cannot swim (root) not [can] external negation George is not able to swim George cant be coming late (epistemic) not [can] -external negation It is not possible that George is coming late

10 Hugh neednt leave (root) not[need] - external negation Unicorns neednt exist (epistemic) not [need] - external negation You dare not resign (root) not [dare] - external negation

In what follows we shall have a closer look at the way modal readings pattern with respect to negation adopting the claim put forth by Cormack and Smith (2002) according to whom the scope divide relative to negation seems to be broadly along the distinction necessity vs possibility. 4. 4.1. Modals and negation and the logical relation between necessity and possibility

It has long been noticed that necessity and possibility are logically related. In order to describe the logical relation between necessity and possibility we need to consider their interaction with negation (H&P 175). As has been mentioned above, we need to distinguish between internal negation and external negation. Whenever the negative applies semantically to the complement of the modal we speak of internal negation. We say in such cases that the modal has scope over the negation or that the negation falls within the scope of the modal.(as in (43i) below; the paraphrase with the lexical modal is illuminating). Whenever the negative applies to the modal itself we speak of external negation since the modal falls within the scope of negation.(as in43 ii below). There are cases when the two types of negation can combine(as in 43 iii). Consider the examples below: (43) (i) (ii) (iii) He may [not have read it] (internal negation) It is possible [that he didnt read it] He [cant ] have read it (external negation) It is not possible [that he has read it] He cant not have read it. It is not possible that he didnt read it

A second example is (44) below: (44) (i) (ii) You mustnt eat it all (internal negation) It is necessary [that you not eat it all] You neednt eat it all (external negation) It isnt necessary [for you to eat it all]

The equivalence between pairs of clauses expressing modal necessity (irrespective of how they are expressed: must, need, necessarily, necessary etc) and possibility (irrespective of how they are expressed: can, may, possible, possibly, perhaps, etc) is illustrated in the examples below (H&P 176) where we use Nec for necessity, Pos for possibility and P for the propositional content He be guilty; not-Nec and not-Pos indicate external negation while not-P indicates internal negation: (i) (ii) Necessity He must be guilty He must be not guilty. Possibility He cant not be guilty [NecP]=[not-Pos not P] He cant be guilty [Nec not-P]=[not-Pos P]


As can be noticed from the examples above necessity modals scope over negation i.e. not negates the complement of the modal (we speak of internal negation); possibility modals scope under not (we speak of external negation). The paraphrases with lexical modals are relevant and illuminating as we can see in (43) and (44). According to Cormack and Smith (2002) the two exceptions would be: (i) May, a possibility modal, where the relevant distinction is that between epistemic and root reading. e.g.You may not leave = You are not allowed to leave; not [may] P He may not be coming tomorrow=It is possible that he is not coming; may [not P] the necessity modal need which should be considered a negative polarity item so it will always appear under negation.


The pre-negative modals are labeled as Modal1 while post-negative modals as Modal2 in Cormack& Smiths analysis (2002). The positions for modals relative to NEG is given below PRE-NEG Modal [Not] POST-NEG Not [Modal] necessity: shall, should,must, will, would, ought to, be to, have to Possibility: epistemic reading only: may,might possibility: necessity: can could, dare (only root) root reading only: may, might need

5. The semantics of modal verbs 5.1 The most natural question that arises on the root-epistemic shift is: are modals lexically ambiguous (e.g Palmer 1990, Coates, 1983), polysemous (e.g. Sweetser 1990) or unitary in meaning (monosemous) (e.g. Wertheimer (1972) Perkins, 1983, Haegeman (1983), Kratzer 1977,1981, 1991, Papafragou, 2000) ? The root/epistemic alternation has been given various explanations: (i) the distinction is determined at the syntactic level (e.g. Picallo, 1990): epistemics are inserted at sentence (IP) level while root modals are inserted within the VP level; (ii) the difference is determined in the lexicon (e.g. Ross, 1969,Jackendoff 1971, Huddleston 1974): epistemics are lexically one place (intransitive) predicates, corresponding to raising verbs, while roots are two-place (transitive) predicates corresponding to control verbs. This would mean that root modals and epistemic modals are distinct lexical items. (iii) the distinction is determined contextually in the semantic/pragmatic component (e.g Wertheimer (1972) Perkins, 1983, Haegeman (1983), Kratzer 1991, Papafragou, 2000), i.e. the interpretive differences are determined by the conversational background.

12 The solution we adopt is the third one, namely a unitary semantic approach, i.e. a common core for the meaning of each modal. The different interpretations modal expressions acquire are context-dependent. The theoretical framework is the one suggested by Kratzer (1991) and Papafragou (2000). Lets take the following set of examples: (45) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) I must go on a diet You ought to be ashamed You may go home only if you have finished your work You should acknowledge the authorities effort to fight crime. You must be Johns wife. That problem ought to be easy for a genius like you. You may find that your love for opera is not widely shared here. Since you are interested in industrial design, this course should be useful. (Papafragou 2000:520)


Broadly speaking, the utterances in (45) involve a root modal base and convey that a given state of affairs is considered possible (permissible) or necessary (obligatory) in view of some physical, moral, legal, social circumstances in the real world; on the other hand, the utterances in (46) involve an epistemic modal base and convey that a given proposition presents itself as a possible or necessary conclusion in view of the evidence available to the speaker . The evidence can be explicitly stated or inferred: e.g. in (46ii) in view of the fact that you are a genius it is a necessary assumption that the problem is easy for you. In the logic of modality, modal expressions in general are treated as propositional operators (i.e. quantifiers) which quantify over a set of possible worlds (identified by the non-finite part of the clause/the VP complement , i.e. the proposition) and relate to the proposition under question. Modal operators express different types of commitment to the truth of the proposition, i.e. a modal operator expresses an attitude towards the proposition it operates on. This attitude is determined by the contextual and pragmatic information required to understand the utterance. 5.2. All conversation presupposes a common conversational background (or modal base). The propositions in the conversational background are taken as premises in the judgements people make about the truth of the utterance.1 To quote Papafragou a first approximation to the meaning of modal verbs is that they express possibility or necessity with respect to different types of modal base.

1 The propositions in the conversational background play an important role in human reasoning, since they are taken as implicit premises in the judgements speakers make. These implicit premises are sometimes explicitly signalled by using phrases of the type: by virtue of what is known, by virtue of what is reasonable/lawful, etc. For instance, all speakers/hearers in our real world interpret a sentence such as (1) as true in our solar system: (1) Nothing can travel faster than light

When we talk to other people we generally suppose that they share with us a common ground, which is the same for all community members. As a rule, we do not suppose that a person we address comes from another solar system regulated by other physical laws and where sentence (1) can be false.

13 Consider the following set of examples that contains the various modal meanings of the verb MUST (Kratzer (1977). In all the examples below the modal expresses some kind of necessity and the paraphrases with the phrase in view of (in 43) give the preferred modal base for the interpretation of the utterances : (47) a. All Maori children must learn the names of their ancestors b. The ancestors of the Maoris must have arrived from Tahiti c. If you must sneeze, at least use your handkerchief d. When Kahukura-mir died, the people of Kahunguru said: Rakaipaka must be our chief

The verb MUST in (47a) has a deontic reading: it refers to a duty. The verb MUST in (47b) is used epistemically: it refers to a piece of knowledge. The verb MUST in (47c) has been called dispositional must: it refers to dispositions people have. The verb MUST in (47d) is sometimes called preferential must: it refers to preferences and wishes. (47) a. In view of what their tribal duties are, all Maori children must learn the names of their ancestors b. In view of what is known, the ancestors of the Maoris must have arrived from Tahiti c. If in view of what your dispositions are - you must sneeze, at least use your handkerchief d. In view of what is good for us, Rakaipaka must be our chief

In order to account for the utterances in (47) Kratzer adopts a number of ingredients. The three factors that are important and which underlie modal operators are: the modal relation, the modal base and the ordering source

The modal relation is basically the relation of compatibility or logical consequence (or entailment); this relation underlies the notion of possibility or necessity. The modal base and the ordering source are the two parameters along which the conversational background is defined. The modal base is the set of possible worlds/domains where the propositions considered as premises in the modal inference are true, i.e. worlds compatible with what is known, worlds compatible with what is believed, worlds compatible with what is the norm, etc. Such a background may be signalled by phrases such as in view of what is reasonable, in view of what is desirable, or in view of what is known. The modal bases form the restrictions for the particular modal expressions they are relevant to. According to Kratzer, the epistemicroot distinction arises from the kinds of facts that are considered salient in forming a particular modal base. Modal bases are generally inferred from the conversational context. As we can notice, modal bases are organized in various domains: the factual domain (i.e. propositions that describe the factual worlds), the regulatory domain (i.e., propositions that include legal rulings, social regulations, religious rules, chess rules, etc.), the domain of moral beliefs (i.e., propositions that are descriptions of states of affaires in ideal worlds), the domain of

14 desirability (i.e., propositions that are descriptions of states of affairs in worlds desirable from someones point of view), the social domain, the biological domain, etc. A particularly salient ingredient in interpreting modality is that it may have a strong normative component. Modal judgements of the type exemplified so far imply not only a modal base but also an ordering source, i.e., a set of principles that impose an ordering among the considered alternatives. The ordering source is some ideal world with respect to which the worlds (i.e. alternatives) in the modal base are to be considered, The ordering source further delimits the domain over which the modal relation is taken to quantify. In the examples below both should and must are necessity modals. The difference between them is given by the ordering source :must is a strong necessity (NecP entails P) modal ( the modal base is compatible with different domains, as in (47)), while should is a weaker necessity modal ( in view of what is the norm ), i.e. the modal base is compatible only with the normative domain: (48) (i) Jeremy must be at Heathrow by now (ii) Jeremy should be in class

As we have seen above (ex.47), one and the same modal verb can be evaluated with respect to various modal bases. In the following examples (taken from Anna Papafragou, 2000) the verb CAN is evaluated in the pre-posed modal bases, which are thus made explicit; in these contexts, CAN conveys different types of possibility (potential) : physical, social, legal, biological: (49) a. As a former champion, John can lift heavy weights b. As a simple guest, John can dress casually c. As a University employee, John can get health benefits d. As a human being, John can have conscious mental states

To conclude, modal operators express different types of commitment to the truth of the modalised proposition. The modality of the sentence signals the context in which it is evaluated; this context is determined by the modal operator. What changes is the kind of world or situation where the proposition is evaluated (i.e., what changes is the modal base, that is, situations compatible with what is known, situations compatible with what someone believes, etc.). More often than not modal bases are inferred from the pragmatic /conversational context.. Modal expressions have incomplete or under-specified content; we say that they are system-neutral. Their contents need pragmatic/contextual support on the basis of which speakers process inferences that ensure the recoverability of modal verbs meanings. This contextual support is assumed to be given by the modal base, the in view of phrases, which are contextually given or inferred. Thus, a sentence that contains a modal verb is tripartite; it contains a modal operator (i.e., the modal verb), a modal base/domain (i.e., a contextually specified set of propositions) and the proposition p (i.e. the verbal complement). The introductory phrases in the sentences in (49) above actually spell out the modal bases. This tripartite structure can be formalized as follows: (50) Operator (Restrictor, Matrix)

15 In the case of modals the operator is the logical relation of entailment or compatibility, the matrix is the proposition p (the complement of the modal) and the restrictor is the modal base/domain (the restrictor may be either linguistically indicated or pragmatically inferred) . To exemplify, the meanings of CAN generally cover the notion of factual possibility (potentiality) in the sense that factual circumstances in the modal base/domain do not preclude an event x from happening (Klinge 1993, Papafragou 2000). A state of affairs is potential when it is compatible with the state of affairs in the real world and, hence, may itself be actualized at some point in the future. The introductory sentences in (49) spell out the factual circumstances in the modal bases that underlie the interpretation of the modalised sentences. Operator CAN Restrictor (Modal Base/domain) Matrix (Proposition p) in view of his physical ability John lifts heavy weights In view of the social requirements John dresses casually In view of university regulations John gets health benefits

The semantic/grammatical information of modal CAN spelled out above may be formally stated as below (where p stands for the proposition while D for the modal domain/restrictor): CAN p is compatible with Dfactual There are instances when the speaker - hearer misunderstand each other because they may be mistaken in the recovery of the modal base/domain. Jokes are a good example to illustrate misunderstanding in the identification of the right modal base/domain. (cf. Papafragou, 2000:50). Suppose that a zookeeper says sentence (51) to his new assistant: (51) The monkey can climb to the top of the tree

Later on in the day, the monkey is missing and the zookeeper is angry with the assistant because he warned the assistant that the monkey was able to climb to the top of the tree and so could escape. The assistant replies that he interpreted the sentence to be about what the monkey was allowed to do, and was therefore not worried when the monkey behaved in just this way. The misunderstanding is due to a modal domain/ base mismatch: the zookeeper had in mind potentiality in terms of the monkeys physical abilities (ability), while the assistant had in mind potentiality in terms of the zoos regulations (permission). A further piece of evidence, which shows that interlocutors are sensitive to subtle aspects of the modal bases, is that speakers and hearers frequently shift and modify modal domains/bases during the same conversational exchange. Imagine that Alice and her lawyer have been discussing the prospect of Alices having a divorce. Alice utters sentence (52a) and her lawyer replies as in (52b): (52) a) b) I cant leave my husband penniless Of course you can the law allows you to

The modal domain/base in (52a) includes assumptions about Alices feelings and moral profile whereas in (52b) it includes assumptions about legal regulations. This example is a clear demonstration of how the modal base/domain affects the truth-conditional content of a modalised sentence.

16 In what follows we shall adopt the view that modal verbs have a core meaning on the basis of which one can derive the vast range of possible interpretations that modals may contextually receive (cf. Perkins, 1983, Kratzer, 1977, 1991, Papafragou, 2000). To quote Kyle von Fintel (2006) other words modal expressions have in of themselves a rather skeletal meaning and it is only in combination with the background context that they take on a particular shade of meaning (such as epistemic or deontic). 5. Root and epistemic necessity . (must, need, need to, have(got) to, should, ought to ). 5.1 ROOT MUST 5.1.2. Of all the modals conveying deontic necessity, deontic MUST conveys strong obligation. It is a typical member of the class of modal auxiliaries with all properties applying unproblematically. According to Papafragou (2000) the grammatical information that must has is the one in (53) below: (53) must: P is entailed by Dunspecified

What this formula actually says is that must conveys necessity and (just like possibility may) is semantically more general than other necessity modals ( should or ought for instance) in the sense that it admits a variety of domains as restrictors and the unspecified domain D has to be narrowed down pragmatically to sub-domains. Recall that should, another necessity modal is restricted to a normative domain. Coates (1983) interprets Root must as being related to a cline extending from strong to weak obligation (from it is obligatory/imperative to it is important/appropriate ). The interpretation of must is complicated by the presence or absence of another feature: the speakers involvement in the utterance. Consider the following examples: (54) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) You must be back by ten. The president must formally approve the new Government before it can undertake its duties. The accused must remain silent throughout the trial. In opening a game of chess, the players must move a pawn.

The most commonly conveyed type of necessity with must is purely deontic, the obligation-imposing use. This use arises in case : (i) (ii) (iii) the modal restrictor involves a set of regulatory propositions which the speaker is entitled to enforce; the speaker has authority over the hearer the hearer is in a position to bring about the situation described.

The example in (54i) is prototypical deontic modality with the speaker as the deontic source: the speaker is the one who imposes the obligation. Palmer (1986) calls this discourse orientation while Lyons (1977), Huddlestone and Pullum (2000) as subjective, while Coates (1983) calls it performative. The interpretation of (54ii,iii,iv) requires regulatory domains of different types, hence the sources of obligation are different: (54ii) expresses necessity with respect to the Constitution, (54iii) a necessity with respect to judicial rules, (54iv) a necessity with respect to the rules of chess. In all these case, therefore, the deontic source is not assumed to be the

17 speaker but rather rules, regulations , law or even custom. Some grammarians call this objective necessity. In order to understand the distribution and interpretation of must vs have (got) to we will assume with Palmer (1986), among others, that in the case of deontic must there are degrees to which the speaker may be involved: he may be totally involved; he may be involved as a member of the society or body that instigates the action; or he may not be involved at all. Palmer (1979:93) correlates the degrees of speaker involvement as: discourse-oriented deontic source neutral oriented deontic source external oriented deontic source

In example (54i) must is discourse-oriented in (54ii,iii,iv) the deontic source is neutral (rules, regulations; the speaker is part of the system or he states what the rules, regulation or law deontically requires). 5.2 . Generally speaking, in the case of deontic must we speak of obligation which can be defined as socially-oriented deontic necessity. We have argued that with deontic must we can identify different deontic sources: the deontic source is the speaker/hearer who imposes an obligation on the subject to bring about the situation described (the paraphrase could be I order/oblige you); with first person subjects the speaker expresses self-imposed obligation (self-compulsion); Coates (1983) argues that in this case we speak of weak obligation which simply comes from the speakers sense of the importance of some action, the paraphrase being it is important/appropriate : You must concentrate on one thing at a time Tell him he must stop this dishonest behavior at once You must clean up the mess right away Must I answer all the questions? If I must go there, why dont you say so? I must remember to feed the cat later I must work hard if I want to be a student What I have promised I must do I must do something about that leak I must lose weight. Anyway, we must consider seriously the Prom programme


Generally, the imposition of an obligation by the speaker involves animate subjects, typically human, who are capable of performing the action. Contextually, the force of obligation may be weakened to express emphatic advice, invitation, suggestion, in contexts where the hearer/addressee is the beneficiary of the action described; the state of affairs described by the proposition is desirable to the hearer and beneficial to him..

18 (56) I absolutely must walk home with you You must see this movie. You must come round and see us. You mustnt miss this show. You must keep everything to yourself, be discreet. We must get together for lunch sometime. And you mustnt miss the Shakespeare play thats on at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool when you are there.

With first person subjects must can be used in a hedged performative sentence (the speaker is performing what he is in the act of urging himself to do) with a limited number of verbs, all related to the act of conversation: admit, say, confess, promise, warn, etc: (57) I must admit that I was wrong I must order you to leave the building at once I must beg you to help me out of this mess

the necessity arises from some internal need, the subjects dispositions or properties, or by force of circumstances; we can speak here of self-compulsion as well. (Leech 1971) , H&P call this use of must dynamic must while Kratzer calls it dispositional must. This use of must is sometimes found in the harmonic idiom must needs(H&P:185) (58) Eds a guy who must always be poking his nose into other peoples business. (H&P) Now that she has lost her job she must live extremely frugally. I must sneeze. We must remember that the peasantry in those days didnt live on wages alone (Coates) They will eventually split, because either of them must needs have his own way

This use can be pragmatically exploited in sarcastic questions conveying different speech (i.e. non-literal) acts such as indirect directives. The subject is you and must is invariably stressed; must could easily be replaced by will in the sense of insistence Leech 1971): (59) 'Must you make that dreadful noise? (for heavens sake stop it) If you 'must smoke (='will smoke), use an ashtray If you 'must behave like a savage, at least make sure the neighbours arent watching.

the deontic source is objective (rules, regulations, custom, fate; the speaker is part of the system or he states what the rules, regulation, law, etc deontically require); in this case the obligation use of must may be found with inanimate or impersonal subjects (among others Coates 1983, Papafragou (2000) in warnings, rulings and rules of the type exemplified below: We must make an appointment if we want to see the Dean. Passengers must cross the line by the footbridge.


19 Door must be closed when machine is in operation. If you commit murder, Charlotte, you must be punished Women must cover their heads in church. Clay pots must have some protection from severe weather .(Coates) Students must pay course fees before attending classes. In England traffic must keep to the left. In a pessimistic assessment of the cold war, Eden declared There must be much closer unity within the West before there can be effective negotiation with the East But with all due respects and allowances, it must truthfully be said that what they heard was more syrup than sweet, more mannered than musical. There must be a solution to this problem on my table this morning. In such cases, must can be replaced by have to under certain circumstances which will be stated when we discuss the semi-auxiliary have to. 5.2.1.Scope of negation with deontic must As already mentioned root must normally takes internal negation (i.e. mustnt = must [not P] or Nec [not-P], the negative affects the main predication) and is interpreted as obligation not to do something. To negate the modality for necessity there is no appropriate form for must but neednt may be used. In English, the negative form mustnt is generally used only deontically. Hence, obligation can be externally negated by using need which takes external negation (neednt=not Nec P) and which is interpreted as lack/absence of obligation. (The semi-auxiliaries have to or have got to also take external negation). Consider the examples below borrowed from J. Coates (1983:39), Stefanescu (1988:455): (61) You mustnt put words into my mouth Mr. Williams You are obliged,/ required not to put words The present overdraft must not be increased We must take no risk Caravans must not be parked here Vs You neednt answer that question you are not obliged/required to answer The politics of the party does not and need not concern them I dont think we need worry about it


5.2.2 Temporal reference As already mentioned, as far as temporal reference is concerned a distinction should be made between the modal time, i.e. the time at which the obligation is issued, and the situation/eventuality time, i.e. the time of the complement of the modal. Generally, in the case of deontic modality (obligation, permission), the modal time is present while the time of the situation/eventuality is future: one can impose an obligation/or grant permission on the animate subject to do something in the future but one cant impose an obligation/grant permission in the past. Moreover, must has no past tense (historically it is itself a past tense form (Coates 1983:40).

20 Whenever the sentence combines with a future time adverb, the adverb as such qualifies as reference time for the event described by the VP complement of the modal e.g. This must be discussed next week In the discourseoriented deontic interpretation must needs no past tense. In the neutral (objective)necessity interpretation, have(got) to is used to render past necessity or if necessity is future or conditional. Consider the following examples, borrowed from different sources: (63) I must have all your news: how long have you been there, and hows that fabulous husband of yours. (ii) You must tell me at once. (iii) This must be discussed next week. (iv) and we must do something about it. (v) He gave the children their presents in early December but they didnt have/hadnt got to open them until Christmas Day (vi) Well, Ill have to think about it. (vii) The next time you can take the exam is April. Otherwise, youll have to wait till September (viii) Yes well have to go out, if youre really going to do it, darling. (ix) How long do they reckon were going to have to wait to find out if the mortgage advance is forthcoming? (i)

However, must can be used in reported speech where the context is past or with internal monologue. Consider the following examples borrowed from different sources (e.g.Jespersen, 1931, part iv:7; Coates 1983:40): (64) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) I told him he must either apologize or go away immediately One thing was certain: the Government must make a distinct move of some kind Sapt began to know exactly how far he could lead or drive, and when he must follow Bill had reluctantly decided that Kay must be left in the dark

Quite exceptionally, deontic modality may combine with present or past situations only with general requirements, conditions, options, etc as in (65i) (present) or (65ii) (past) (H&P 2000:184); in such cases must takes the perfect infinitive: (65) (i) (ii) We must make an appointment if we want to see the Dean. Candidates must have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies. It is required that candidates have completed 2 years of study

6. Epistemic Must : logical necessity, probability 6.1. In the case of epistemic must the modal base is assumed to consist of the speakers belief-set, i.e. the speaker reasons (domain of the laws of reason) on the basis of evidence reconstructed from encyclopedic and situation specific information. According to Coates (1983), in its most normal usage, Epistemic MUST conveys the speakers confidence in the truth of what he is saying, based on a logical process of deduction from facts known to him (which may or may not be specified). So, in the case of must, a

21 necessity modal, knowledge-oriented necessity is interpreted as conclusion. According to Leech (1976:72) Must is used of knowledge arrived at by inference or reasoning rather than by direct experience.In each casea chain of logical deduction can be postulated. Along the same lines, according to Palmer(1986:64), it is the notion of deduction or inference from known facts that is the essential feature of MUST. Consider the examples below: (66) (i) Look at that house! Those people must have a lot of money. (ii) It must be hot in there without air-conditioning. (iii) The computer is on so someone must be using it. (iv) What a sensible Mum she must be. (v) It must surely be just a relic from the past. (vi) She is a bridesmaid and she must be all excitement at the moment. (vii) In such a war he must have been the captain of the protestant armies. (viii) He must be working late at the office; the lights are on. (ix) His teeth were still chattering but his forehead, when I felt it, was hot and clammy. He said I must have a temperature (Coates 1983:41)

Must represents the strongest epistemic judgement one can make, nevertheless a factual assertion makes a stronger claim than the strongest of all epistemic judgements. Compare the following examples borrowed from Papafragou (2000:73): (67) world (67i) states a fact, while (67ii) conveys that the speaker makes his assertion based on evidence which may be incomplete. Leech (1976:72) remarks that the knowledge arrived at indirectly by inference/deduction is felt to be different from knowledge acquired by direct experience; hence the sense of logically inferred can be weakened to logically assumed or even a guess: (68) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) You must be Johns brother You must be tired/thirsty You must be a foot taller than I. He must be well over 80 . (i) San Marino is the country with the highest life expectancy in the world (ii)San Marino must be the country with the highest life expectancy in the

Epistemic must can also be used to express pure logical necessity with no element of speaker-involvement as in the examples in (69i,ii). (69) i) (ii) If it is a bird, it must have wings. He is a bachelor, so he must be unmarried.

6.2.Temporal reference 6.2.1 With epistemic must, as already mentioned, the modal time is always present, while the main predication usually refers to states or processes/events in the present, as the examples below indicate; please notice the progressive form of the predicate:

22 (70) (i) (ii) (iii) Judging from the noise , the children must be playing upstairs. There must be some mistake. He must be working late at the office.

Epistemic must very rarely occurs with future time reference, since a future time reference would be open to a deontic interpretation e.g. He must come tomorrow/The government must act soon. According to Huddlestone&Pullum (2001:182) the future+epistemic combination is more likely in conjunction with harmonic surely (which is not used deontically): It must surely rain soon. Palmer (1979:45) shows that be bound to could be used to express epistemic necessity when the main predication refers to states or events in the future; according to Coates (1983), Palmer (1979) the interpretation in such cases is it is inevitable that: (71) (i) Its bound to come out though, I think.Its received such rave notices that somebodys bound to put it on.

6.2.2.Must, as already mentioned has no past form, but sentences with epistemic must may refer to situations that occurred in the past, since we can make judgements, at now, about past situations. In such cases, the perfect infinitive (have-en) is used. Perfect have, just like negation, belongs semantically in the complement; in such cases we speak of internal perfect, i.e. the time reference of the modal is unaffected (i.e. present), while the time reference of the verbal complement is past: (i) She must have arrived late last night I confidently believe/I am sure that she came last night (ii) She must have been such a pain in the neck to her Mum and vice versa (Coates (1983) (iii) He must have been dishing up the same lectures for 30 years at a gradually slower and slower speed (Coates (1983) (iv) I mean there must have been an awful lot of hit and misses, mustnt there?2 6.3. Negation 6.3.1 As already mentioned, in terms of negation, must is anomalous : (a) with root meaning, must takes internal negation, i.e. negation affects the main predication [Nec not-P], lack of necessity (not-Nec P) being rendered by the suppletive form neednt (external negation); (b) epistemic must has no morphologically related negative . For epistemic must , the more natural expression of impossibility in English is cant Infrequently, neednt can also be used (with a different meaning though). In colloquial English neednt is replaced by not necessarily. (e.g.He neednt be guilty = He isnt necessarily guilty) Compare: (73) (i) (ii) (iii)


He must have done it deliberately it is certain that he did it He cant have done it deliberately it is not possible that he did it=it is necessarily the case that he didnt do it He neednt have done it deliberately

Note: mustnt never occurs with epistemic meaning except in tag-questions i.e. in what Halliday (1970:333) calls verbal crossing-out) (apud Coates 1983:44)

23 it is not certain/necessary that he did it deliberately 6.3.2. Must, like all epistemic modals, does not occur in interrogative sentences. If it does it is under very restricted circumstances. Papafragou (2000) argues that it is hard to construct a context in which it would be felicitous for the speaker to ask whether a conclusion is possible or necessary with respect to his own set of beliefs. More often than not, need may be considered the interrogative counterpart of epistemic must. 6.4. Harmonic combinations. The term modally harmonic was introduced by Lyons (1977) and describes the combinations that a modal verb may have with expressions (words or phrases) which convey the same degree of modality; the modal expressions are said to be mutually reinforcing: Im sure, surely, certain, necessarily, of necessity, inevitably (Coates 1983:46): (74) (i) (ii) (iii) It must surely be valid. It must necessarily have involved deception. Anyone who says that must inevitably and of necessity be wrong.

7. NEED and NEED TO It is important to make a distinction between the auxiliary verb need and the related full or lexical verb need to. The modal need exhibits the modal properties described in 2.0 above and expresses both root and epistemic necessity (Leech 1976, Coates 1983, etc). Need to, on the other hand, forms interrogative and negative forms employing the auxiliary DO and takes tense morphemes. The main verb to need followed by the to-infinitive has practically the same meaning as when it is followed by a noun or gerund: e.g. He needs to practice more=He needs more practice./ My pen needs filling (Leech 1976:96). 7.1. ROOT NEED 7.1.1 As a modal auxiliary, need is a necessity modal and is characterized by all the properties which define a modal. Need occurs infrequently in affirmative contexts (mainly if the context is non-assertive), i.e. this verb is chiefly restricted to non-assertive contexts, to sentences containing a negative form or an adverb like only or hardly, or interrogative sentences. In such contexts needs main function is to provide the negative counterpart of deontic must. Deontic neednt expresses lack of obligation, and generally expresses the authority of the speaker, being in complementary distribution with need to and have to (where the deontic source is an external authority or circumstances). The paraphrase in such cases is it isnt necessary/obligatory. Consider the examples below, borrowed from different sources (e.g. Coates 1983): (75) (i) (ii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) Im very grateful to you. You neednt be. I told you. Im glad to do it. I need hardly tell you that it was a most gratifying experience He need have no fear. I do not think I need read subsection 2. You neednt take that medicine any more All you need do is go there and pay the money. I wonder if I need be present.

24 Need also provides an additional interrogative form for the must paradigm. Root need I/he etc. is especially used when a negative answer is expected. Must I/he etc. does not have this implication, i.e. we have an open question. Compare: (76) (i) (ii) Must I wait for her now? (open question) Need I wait for her now? (hoping for a negative answer)

7.1.2.Time reference Neednt+short infinitive has only present (or extended present) reference , although it can occur in indirect speech: (77) (i) (ii) (iii) He neednt come tomorrow. Need I say more? I told him he neednt come if he didnt want to.

Just like must, need lacks a past tense (preterite) counterpart, so if we wish to refer to real past time we use need to or have to instead. The same verbs are used for all the situations where neednt lacks the necessary verb forms; if the absence of obligation or necessity will exist only eventually or is dependent on some other event, need to or have to is used: (78) (i) I didnt need/have to see him immediately (ii) When you get an assistant, perhaps you wont have to work quite so hard yourself. (iii) I havent had to see a doctor for years now (iv) We may not need to bring the subject up.

Deontic neednt may occur in the context of a perfect infinitive (have-en) to indicate absence of obligation/necessity in the past, which was nevertheless fulfilled ; in the case of deontic neednt have the proposition of opposite polarity is actually true3. In this case we say that the perfect (have) has scope over the modal, we speak of external perfect rendering what is known as unreal past or contrary to past fact. Hence, neednt+perfect infinitive always expresses unreal past and contrasts with didnt need to/didnt have to which expresses real past(i.e. the event described did not take place, as it was not necessary). (79) (i) (ii) I neednt have gone there (but I went) it wasnt necessary for me to go (but I did) I didnt need/have to go there (so I didnt go)

7.2.EPISTEMIC need Epistemic need is the interrogative and negative counterpart of logical necessity must. It is quite infrequent. In colloquial English epistemic neednt is replaced by not necessarily. (e.g.He neednt be guilty = He isnt necessarily guilty ). According to Coates (1981) epistemic need x? means is x inevitable? and can often be paraphrased with bound to. Here are some examples borrowed from different sources Coates 1981, H&P 2001): (80)



oh gosh, getting married is an awfully complicated business

Shouldnt have/ oughtnt to have/could have/might have are similar in sense to neednt have: with all these modals there is an implication of the unreality of the event, with the further implication that the event did take place.

25 B: actually, it neednt be; it can be very straight forward (ii) The basic questions for the new American administration are two: need the quarrel with Cuba ever have happened, and can it be put into reverse? (iii) I need look changed for I have been through much suffering, both in mind and body (iv) He neednt have told her (a) It isnt necessarily the case that he told her (epistemic-internal perfect) (b) he wasnt obliged to tell her (but he did) (deontic-external perfect)

Past reference is rendered by need+perfect infinitive, as the example (80ii) shows.In the epistemic reading of need the perfect auxiliary have is internal, isnt necessarily the case that/it isnt inevitable that x happened. This use is very rare and somewhat formal or literary in style. In negative contexts need+have-en is usually interpreted deontically. Actually the example in (80iv) is ambiguous between the epistemic and deontic reading, as the paraphrases indicate. 7.3.NEED TO As already mentioned need to is a regular verb having none of the properties of modal verbs: it forms the interrogative and negative with the auxiliary do, it takes the whole range of verb forms and assigns theta roles. Semantically, need to, alongside need, expresses obligation/necessity, but while neednt generally expresses the authority of the speaker, (dont) need to parallels (dont) have to/havent got to in expressing that it is an external authority or circumstances that impose/remove the obligation or necessity for action. The distinctions in meaning between need and need to occur only in the present tense in view of the fact that the deficiencies of need are supplied by need to/have to, as already mentioned. With need to the deontic source is an external authority or circumstance. Compare: (81) (i) (ii) You neednt cut the grass. You dont need to cut the grass.

Sentence (81i) involves the authority of the speaker who exempts the subject from cutting the grass; a possible paraphrase would be I allow you not to cut the grass; in (81ii) it is the circumstance of the grass not having grown to need cutting that exempts the subject from cutting the grass; a possible paraphrase would be it is not necessary .. With past time necessity, as already mentioned, there is a sharp contrast between need and need to illustrated below: (82) (i) (ii) He neednt have gone there. (*so he didnt) He didnt need to go there. (so he didnt)

In (82i) the deontic interpretation of need+have-en implicates that he did go there, i.e. it wasnt obligatory for him to go, but he did; (82ii) only conveys that it wasnt necessary for him to go there; so the addition of so he didnt is possible for (82ii) but not for (82i). Need to just like have to are more suited to express general, habitual actions; must or need (as well as have got to) are more suited to occur in statements referring to particular occasions:

26 (83) (i) (ii) Do I need to/have to show him my ID card every time? Need/Must I show him my pass now?

8. HAVE (GOT) TO 8.0.Have to and have got to are not true modals but no discussion of must or of the modals of necessity would be complete without reference to them. Semantically, have (got) to is very similar to must. It can express both root and epistemic meaning. It is acknowledged that have (got) to is most commonly used for deontic necessity, and, unlike must, it is never discourse-oriented with respect to the deontic source. According to Leech (1976) the two meanings of have (got) to (deontic, epistemic) are scarcely distinguishable in scientific and mathematical writing where the author is expounding an abstract system of thought. To take an example, borrowed from Leech (1976:73) Every clause has to contain a finite verb can be interpreted either as: every clause is obliged (by the rules of language) to have a verb or It is necessary for every clause to have a verb. As already mentioned, the meaning of have (got) to is different from that of must in the present due to the fact that , unlike must, it is not discourse-oriented, but rather externaloriented with respect to the deontic source, i.e.the subject is bound to do something because it is the only course of action, the obligation being imposed by circumstances/authority which are independent of the speaker or the addressee. Nevertheless, must and have(got)to may share the same contexts, whenever the deontic source is neutral (H&P 2001:205; Coates 1981:55): (84) Now that she has lost her job, she has (got) to live extremely frugally. There is already a great imbalance between what a student has to pay if hes in lodgings and what he has to pay if he is in a hall of residence. Weve got to bear in mind that there is not one healthy fox.

In the examples above must can be substituted for have (got) to. Must, however, is not very frequent in such cases. 8.1. HAVE GOT TO 8.1.1. Have got to is generally substitutable for have to in colloquial English, except that there are no non-finite forms (*to have got to; *having got to; *will have got to). Thus have got to cannot occur in the following: We may/will have to leave early; I regret having to refuse your offer. Semantically, have got to is similar to must in expressing both root and epistemic meaning; the latter, though, occurs only rarely in Br.E. In American English, though, have got to is common in epistemic interpretation. Consider the following examples, borrowed from different sources: Root (85) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) There is a whole lot of literature youve got to read Oh, well, hes got to go into hospital, you know. This, I think, is something on which universities have got to begin now to take a stand. A really healthy effective Opposition which youve got to have if youre going to shake the government. I began to beat my hands against the slime-covered wallsDont Charlotte. Youve got to stick it out for another few minutes.


Epistemic (86) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii)

If youve seen all the old Frankensteins youve got to know all the jokes. Something has got to give in this second half, I think. Youve got to be joking.(AE) vs. You must be joking (Br.E). Someone has got to be telling lies. This has got to be the worst restaurant in town. There has to be some reason for his absurd behavior Somebody had to lose the game.

8.1.2. Root meaning. It is generally agreed upon that have got to, just like have to, indicate external compulsion/obligation, i.e. have got to/have to is either neutral or external-oriented with respect to the deontic source, but never discourse-oriented. Palmer (1979:93), Coates (1981:53) remark that, in certain contexts there is semantic overlap between must and have got to; actually, in all the examples in(85) above must can be substituted freely (Coates 1981:53). The examples above do not indicate a discourse-oriented statement, rather all the examples suggested are neutral with respect to the deontic source (see also Coates 1981). Consider, also, the following examples (offered by Palmer (1979:93)) that share similar contexts for have got to and must and which justify the belief that in such cases the deontic source is neutral: (87) (i) (ii) I must have an immigrants visa. Otherwise theyre likely to kick me out, you see. Ive really got to know when completion date is likely. Otherwise I might find myself on the streets.

Consider the example below which is a clear case of external compulsion/obligation and hence rules out must which is never external with respect to the deontic source: (88) Theyre obliged by the curriculum in force to pass in various ways; theyve got to/*must pass our section of it.

It should be noted that Root have got to, like must, is preferred in statements referring to particular occasions, i.e. have got to and must are not used in habitual, general statements : (89) (i) (ii) I must/have got to feed the baby now; shes been crying for half and hour. I have to/*have got to/ *must feed the baby six times a day.

In the present, have got to (and have to), unlike must, implies actuality, i.e. the event denoted by the verbal complement is under way at now. With must, on the other hand, the event denoted by the verbal complement could only occur in the future.(Palmer 1979 apud I Stefanescu 1988:455). This accounts for the use of have got to in the example below, where must cannot be used: (90) Its slow walk down. Hes got to fight his way through the crowds.

Palmer (1979) shows that the sentence describes a boxer actually in the process of fighting his way through.


8.1.3. Temporal reference Have got to, like must, has no non-finite forms, hence only have to can be used in contexts requiring this form. Have to is also employed to supply for the whole range of verb forms that have got to lacks. Have got to may occur in the context of future time adverbs (alongside have to ) to indicate that the situation described is already planned and arranged for the future: (91) We have got to be there at ten tomorrow

As mentioned above, in the present tense have got to implies actuality/accomplished situation (see example 90). The past tense form had got to is rarer and is suggested to be acceptable only in (free) indirect speech contexts in BrE; moreover, had got to lacks the implication of actuality, i.e. the implication that the event actually took place. Compare the following examples (Palmer 1979:97): (92) (i) (ii) (iii) (v) We had to make a special trip down to Epsom to collect the bloody thing. Wed got to make a special trip down to Epsom anyway, so it did not matter very much. She had got to think of some way out. I told him hed got to hurry up.

8.1.4.Negation Dont have to/have not got to , like neednt, take external negation, i.e. the modal predication is negated; do not have to/have not got to mean it isnt obligatory/necessary for. (93) (i) They havent got to juggle about. Theyve got the total page copy.

8.1.5.Epistemic meaning Have got to may occur in epistemic context but only rarely, as in (94) below: (94) (i) (ii) If youve seen all the old Frankensteins youve got to know all the jokes. Something has got to give in this second half, I think.

In American English, however, have got to is common in epistemic interpretation, where British English is likely to use must: (95) (i) (ii) (iii) Youve got to be joking.(AE) vs. You must be joking (Br.E). Someone has got to be telling lies. This has got to be the worst restaurant in town.

In British English there is a difference of meaning between have (got) to and must. Epistemic must is used of knowledge arrived at indirectly by inference or reasoning, i.e. a chain of logical deduction. According to Coates (1983), in its most normal usage, Epistemic MUST conveys the speakers confidence in the truth of what he is saying, based on a logical process of deduction from facts known to him (which may or may not be specified). Hence, logical necessity

29 can easily become weakened to logical assumption or even guess. In the case of epistemic must we speak of factual necessity (Leech 1976:73). Epistemic have (got) to, on the other hand, never appears to be far away from its deontic use; in this case the necessity is imposed by an idea, circumstances and hence we can speak of theoretical necessity; as theoretical necessity means that the possibility of the opposite state of affairs cannot even be conceived of, have (got) to has a stronger force than must and cannot be weakened, like must, to the interpretation of logical assumption.or guess. (Leech 1976:73). Compare the following examples: (96) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Someone must be telling lies. Someone has (got) to be telling lies. You must be mad to do that. You have (got) to be mad to do that.

While (96i) voices a mere suspicion, (96ii) sounds more like an accusation. What (96iii) conveys is that the speakers conclusion from the evaluation of the subjects action is that the subject is mad; (96iv) states that being mad is a necessary condition for acting in a certain way. We notice that the difference in the epistemic interpretation of must and have(got)to is given by the fact that in the case of have(got)to the deontic use is never far away. According to Leech (1976), Huddlestone and Pullum (2001, Coates (1981), etc. epistemic have(got) to is much less frequent, in British English at least, than must, because it is frequently unidiomatic. A roundabout way of expressing theoretical necessity would be the following negative alternatives: (97) These lines cant be by anyone but Shakespeare Nobody but Shakespeare could have written these lines.

8.2. HAVE TO Have to has none of the properties of modal auxiliaries; it forms negation and inversion with the auxiliary do and it is fully inflected (similar to need to with which it shares a lot in common semantically and formally). Given its regular behavior have to acts as a suppletive form of modal must/have got to, when the latter lack the necessary verb forms. (98) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) Im having to read this very carefully I have had to give up the idea I told him I had had to give up the idea We may have to change our plans Its a pity to have to give up the idea No one likes having to pay taxes

Semantically, have to is similar to must/have got to; is has a deontic (obligation) and an epistemic interpretation (logical necessity), the latter being infrequent, according to different scholars. It is acknowledged that have to is most commonly used for deontic necessity, and, unlike must, it is never discourse-oriented with respect to the deontic source, but rather external-oriented or neutral-oriented with respect to the deontic source i.e. with have to the authority comes from no particular source.

30 (99) (i) You have to file a flight plan before you start,give an estimated time of arrival,stick to certain heights,routines and landing drills (ii) Will you say to him that I cant come to the meeting next Wednesday because I have to go to a Cambridge examiners meeting.

As already mentioned, Palmer (1979:93), Coates (1981:53) remark that, in certain contexts there is semantic overlap between must and have to; actually, in all the examples in (100) below must can be replaced freely by have to. As already mentioned, there are cases when the speaker reports what someone else deontically requires or is himself/herself committed; in such cases we said that the deontic source is neutral: (100) (i) The verdict of a jury must/has to be unanimous:if its members are unable to reach agreement , the case must/has to be retried before a new jury. (ii) The University is sayingthese people must/have to be expelled if they disrupt lectures (iii) A new insistence from President Nixon that Hanoi government must/has to negotiate if there is to be any settlement. Epistemically, have to just like have got to expresses theoretical necessity (see 8.1.5) 8.3.Summary of have to/have got to in relation to must The distinctions in meaning and usage between must and have to/have got to occur only in the present tense in view of the fact that the deficiencies of must are supplied by have to/need to as already mentioned: Must and have got to lack verb forms; have to supplies for the missing forms (101); the variant with got is more colloquial (101iv): We may have to change our plans Its a pity to have to give up the idea No one likes having to pay taxes Pensioners have (got) to be careful with their money.

(101) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

Have to (similar to have got to) is never discourse-oriented with respect to the deontic source; must is never external-oriented with respect to the deontic source; it is only in the neutral necessity reading that must can be replaced by have to/have got to (examples in (100);

(102) Theyre obliged by the curriculum in force to pass in various ways; theyve got to/*must pass our section of it. Have to/need to may be used to indicate what is habitual, general (103), or may refer to a particular occasion (104); must/have got to only refer to particular occasions (104): I have to get up at seven every morning Do I have to/need to show him my ID card every time I come here?

(103) (i) (ii)

31 (iii) (104) (i) (ii) I dont have to/need to work on Sundays We have to be there at 7 tomorrow/ We must/weve got to be there at seven tomorrow. Do I have to show him my ID now?/ Must I/have I got to show him my card now?

Have to has an implication of actuality (i.e. the event took place) in the present and past; must does not ; have got to implies actuality only in the present: We had to make a special trip to Epsom to collect the bloody thing. Colin the shotgun, the one who had to get married. She had to sleep in the kitchen last night. Its slow walk down. Hes got to fight his way through the crowds.

(105) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

Dont have to takes external negation similar to neednt and havent got to; the negative particle has scope over have [not-Nec P], i.e. the modality is negated and the meaning is not necessary/not obligatory; must takes internal negation, i.e. the verbal complement is negated [Nec not-P] necessary/obligatory ..not to You mustnt do that you are obliged not to do that vs You dont have/havent got to to do that. you are not obliged to do that

(106) (i)


Epistemic must conveys factual necessity; have to/have got to convey theoretical necessity: epistemic have (got) to never appears to be far away from its deontic use. Must, need, and have to can be used in sarcastic questions conveying directives: (i) (ii) (iii) Must you make that dreadful noise? Need you drop ash all over my carpet? Do we have to have jam roll and custard every day?

8.4. Should and ought to 8.4.1. Ought to derives historically from a past tense form (just like must). Should is not synchronically perceived as the preterite form of shall but has entered the modal system as a separate, individual item, hence it requires independent description. Neither should nor ought to have a past tense form, since historically they are past tense forms. The intuition that many researchers and grammarians have tried to capture is that ought and should convey a somewhat weaker necessity than must. Some evidence for this relative weakness comes from examples like (108) and (109) below where (108) is not a contradiction while the one in (109) is: (108) (i)You ought to/should do the dishes, but you dont have to. (ii)He ought to/should come, but he wont (109) (i)*You must/have to do the dishes but you dont have to.

32 (ii)*He must come, but he wont These verbs differ from mustin that the speaker admits the possibility that the event may not take place (Palmer 1986). According to grammarians, the second point of difference between must and should/ought to is that the latter (i.e. should/ought to) can refer to past events, whereas must cannot. More often than not, in the case of ought to/should have, the presupposition is that the event did not occur, i.e. they have a stronger negative connotation of contrary to fact Consider the examples below: (110) You ought to/should have come You had an obligation to come and you would have come if you had fulfilled it According to Palmer (1986:101) the explanation for the differences is that ought to/should are essentially conditional referring to what would occur or would have occurred As we shall detail below, the difference in acceptability can be accounted for in terms of the selection of the restrictor (modal base).In (109) must lacks semantic restrictions so it is open to an interpretation where an obligation is imposed on the subject by the speaker/general rules (social or ethical laws); the continuation of the utterance is therefore unacceptable; in (108) the speaker reports what is entailed by norms/duty concerning the subjects behavior, which has nothing to do with the authority of the speaker so the continuation of the utterance is acceptable; to put it in plain words, the speaker merely recommends a course of action which may or may not be followed. (A more detailed account will follow in the next subchapters.). Because of this difference in the selection of the restrictor between must/have to and ought/should, the latter are often referred to as weak necessity modals (as opposed to strong necessity modals like must and have to) 8.4.2. Should Should, as already mentioned, is not viewed as the past tense form form of shall,; it has entered the modal system as a separate individual item. This point of view is defended by a large number of grammarians and linguists. (Ehrman (1966); Coates (1983), Leech (1971); Palmer 1990, Warner (1993); Papafragou 2001) etc). Should may be used in several ways in modern English: (a) as a modal auxiliary, having a root meaning and an epistemic meaning (110i,ii ); (b) as a subjunctive equivalent (110 iii); (c) hypothetical marker (110 iv,v). These uses are exemplified below: (111) i) You should go to school tomorrow (deontic) (ii) The next road on the left should be King Street (epistemic) (iii). and it is only fitting that there should be splendor about these funeral rites (subjunctive equivalent) (iv) I should be grateful if you could bear my case in mind. (hypothetical maker) (v) Should you require any further assistance, please feel free (hypothetical maker) should As with must, should conveys obligation (i.e. a deontic modal base) but, as already

33 stressed, of a weaker type than must. According to Bybee, Perkins &Pagliuca (1994:186) (apud (Fintel&Iatridou, 2006:5ff) the major distinctions within obligation have to do with gradations of strength of obligation: that is an obligation may be either strong or weak. If a weak obligation is not fulfilled, the consequences are not too serious; but the consequences of not fulfilling a strong obligation are much more severe. Huddlestone and Pullum (2001:186) assume that deontic should is weaker than must in that it allows for non-actualization. Consider the following examples: (111) (112) (i) (ii) I should stop now but Im not going to I must stop now *but Im not going to

Chief scout to the younger boys: (i) You must be back by midnight * though its fine by me if you arent (ii) You should be back by midnight, though its fine by me if you arent

As already discussed, must admits a variety of propositional domains as restrictors, i.e. must is entailed by Dunspecified.; the unspecified domain is pragmatically narrowed down allowing for the different types of necessity conveyed by must (necessity imposed by different regulatory domains). Should, on the other hand is acknowledged to convey: duty or propriety in general (Jespersen 1931:323), which in our framework rewrites as: (113) should is entailed by Dnormative,

i.e. should expresses a necessity relative to existing stereotypes or norms, (Papafragou 2000:62). Papafragou assumes that the comprehension of should in all its uses relies quite heavily on the sort of structured knowledge humans typically possess about the normal course of events. (Papafragou 2000:62). Norms acquire a regulatory status as well, hence should becomes indistinguishable from certain interpretations of must; still, since what is expected/normal can be quite different from what is commanded, should is often perceived as communicating a less urgent necessity than must, i.e. should is sensitive to less coercive sets of rules and principles than must. (Papafragou 2000:62). Lets analyse the examples in (112i,ii) above along the suggestions put forth by Papafragou (2000:63). In (112i) and (112ii) the differences in acceptability bear on the selection of the restrictor: on its most accessible reading, in (112i) the speaker imposes an obligation on the referent of the subject (given contextual assumption concerning authority and social relations) and expects to be obeyed; the continuation of the utterance becomes therefore unacceptable; in (112ii) the chief scout reports what is entailed by norms and expectations concerning a scouts behavior and suggests a course of action; the speaker may not be in agreement with these norms so he will not use his authority to enforce them. Grammarians distinguish between subjective and objective uses: if subjective it merely offers advice or suggestions/recommendations; if objective it describes correct procedure; at its strongest should takes on the meaning of moral obligation or duty (defined in moral or legal terms (Coates 1983:59):

34 (113) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vi) One should always tell the truth. We should buy now while the market is depressed. A critic should above all be fair. A friend should bear a friends infirmities. You should tell your mother. I just insisted very firmly on calling her Miss Tillman but one should really call her President. By the age of sixteen anybody who is going to be an academic should have done their general reading. reference

Ought to has all the properties of modal verbs with one notable exception: it takes a toinfinitive complement.