The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 17 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 17, No. 4, pp.701-727
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2017
Received Jul 2017 Revised Nov 2017 Accepted Dec 2017

Modal Categories and Dynamic Modality in English
Yong-Beom Kim
Kwangwoon University, Korea, Tel: 02-940-5366 (

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Kim, Yong-Beom. 2017. Modal Categories and Dynamic Modality in English.Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 17-4, 701-727. This paper attempts to clarify obscurity regarding classification boundaries of modal categories in English and related ambiguities in the interpretation of the modal expressions. By utilizing cognitive concepts such as modal forces, their sources and cognitive domains, this paper will attempt to provide a more explicit categorization of English modal categories in a mutually exclusive manner so that the domain-related usages of the modal verbs and the ambiguities in their interpretations can be accounted for in a principled and unambiguous way. Especially, this paper puts forth an expanded notion of dynamic modality that can deal with various usages of modal verbs which have been left unaccounted for.

Keywords: modality, epistemic modality, deontic modality, dynamic modality, modal force, cognitive domain


The research leading to this paper was supported by 2016 Kwangwoon University Research Grant (grant number 2016-0165), for which I am grateful to the university. I also thank three anonymous referees for their valuable comments on the earlier version of this paper. A rudimentary version of this paper was presented at the Fall Meeting of The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics in 2016 and appeared in the proceedings from the conference

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