Modality

Modality

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This comprehensive review and critical synthesis of research on modality focuses on formal theories within linguistics and related aspects of philosophical logic. It will be welcomed by students of linguistics at graduate level and above, as well as by researchers in philosophy, computational science, and related fields. -;This is a book about semantic theories of modality. Its main goal is to explain and evaluate important contemporary theories within linguistics and to discuss a wide range of linguistic phenomena from the perspective of these theories. The introduction describes the variety of grammatical phenomena associated with modality, explaining why modal verbs, adjectives, and adverbs represent the core phenomena. Chapters are then devoted to the possible worlds semantics for modality. developed in modal logic; current theories of modal semantics within linguistics; and the most important empirical areas of research. The author concludes by discussing the relation between modality and other topics, especially tense, aspect, mood, and discourse meaning. Paul Portner's accessible guide to this key area of current research will be welcomed by students of linguistics at graduate level and above, as well as by researchers in philosophy, computational science, and related fields. -;This book is sure to be recognized as the most thorough systematic survey of the semantics of modality yet undertaken...written with admirable care - Frank Veltman, Professor of Logic and Cognitive Science, University of Amsterdam;...constitutes an ideal introduction for the beginner; but also the expert will learn from it...An extremely valuable, up to date, inspiring resource. - Gennaro Chierchia, Haas Foundations Professor of Linguistics, Harvard Universityshow more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0191558966
  • 9780191558962

Review quote

"Modality serves as an introduction, giving an overview of the main theories of modality, from modal logic, through Angelika Kratzer's seminal work, to more recent approaches. Here Portner manages to explain both the forest and the trees, illuminating, for each theory, both its intuitive appeal and its formal details. But the book is also a valuable reference for experts. It summarizes major areas of active debates, presents novel issues and challenges to current theories, and offers new solutions and directions, which will certainly inspire future research."--Valentine Hacquard, Language"Modern semantics and its interfaces with syntax and pragmatics have gone through an extraordinary development over the past twenty years, characterized by a break through in our understanding of major constructions. Modality figures prominently among them. Insights developed within logic and philosophy have come together with generative linguistics bringing about new fundamental understandi "Modern semantics and its interfaces with syntax and pragmatics have gone through an extraordinary development over the past twenty years, characterized by a break through in our understanding of major constructions. Modality figures prominently among them. Insights developed within logic and philosophy have come together with generative linguistics bringing about new fundamental understandings of how modality works in the languages of the world, what aspects of it are universal, what are subject to variation, and so on. This volume, written by one of the leading world specialists on this topic, with his characteristic, unassuming style, is accessible, and at the same time deep and highly engaging. It constitutes an ideal introduction for the beginner; but also the expert will learn from it (be they new facets of traditional problems or less familiar theoretical perspectives on them). An extremely valuable, up to date, inspiring resource." --Gennaro Chierchia, Harvard Universityshow more

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