Article published in:Framing: From grammar to application
Edited by Paul Sambre and Cornelia Wermuth
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 24] 2010
► pp. 17–35
A frame-based approach to modality
The case of obligation
This paper sets out to demonstrate that the complex semantic structure underlying a modal concept such as OBLIGATION can only be characterized relative to a frame (or script) based on — but not limited to — a core force-dynamic configuration. It is assumed that the distributional properties of expressions of OBLIGATION throw light upon the more peripheral components of the script, among which the notion of volition is shown to play a substantial role. It is also argued that this script, conceived as a template, receives further semantic specifications when it is activated in discourse. These specifications account for the various uses of forms expressing the same notion. Finally, it is suggested that an analysis of other modal concepts along the same lines would provide a valuable insight into the semantics of modality as a conceptual category and a key to understanding the linguistic properties of modal expressions.
Keywords: script, frame, force dynamics, obligation, modality
Published online: 10 December 2010
Cited by 1 other publications
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