Edited by Anna Čermáková and Michaela Mahlberg
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 87] 2018
► pp. 205–221
Epistemic must in an English-Swedish contrastive perspective
Must in English and måste in Swedish do not mean quite the same thing and they have different formal and functional properties as can be shown from a translation perspective. They occur for example with different frequencies in the two languages. Must is mainly epistemic while the deontic meaning predominates with måste. Several factors play a role for the semantic-pragmatic function of must such as the degree of speaker certainty and the type and source of evidence. It is shown that must is used both to express the speaker’s stance and with hearer-appeal in situations where the hearer is assumed to know more than the speaker. Måste is closely associated with certainty and with inferential meaning.