Modality and Subordinators

Jackie Nordström | Lund University
ISBN 9789027205834 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027288608 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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This book connects two linguistic phenomena, modality and subordinators, so that both are seen in a new light, each adding to the understanding of the other. It argues that general subordinators (or complementizers) denote propositional modality (otherwise expressed by moods such as the indicative-subjunctive and epistemic-evidential modal markers). The book explores the hypothesis both on a cross-linguistic and on a language-branch specific level (the Germanic languages). One obvious connection between the indicative-subjunctive distinction and subordinators is that the former is typically manifested in subordinate clauses. Furthermore, both the indicative-subjunctive and subordinators determine clause types. More importantly, however, it is shown, through data from various languages, that subordinators themselves often denote the indicative-subjunctive distinction. In the Germanic languages, there is variation in many clause types between both the indicative and the subjunctive and that and if depending on the speaker’s and/or the subject’s certainty of the truth of the proposition.
[Studies in Language Companion Series, 116] 2010.  xvii, 341 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The author of this book fearlessly approaches the seemingly chaotic mess of complementizers in Germanic languages. The study focuses in particular on Scandinavian, English and German, but provides examples from Dutch, Icelandic, Frisian, Romance and a number of other languages. Armed with data from a range of typological studies and also carrying out a couple of her own, the author defends the idea that Germanic complementizers come in three different varieties, where one of the types (consisting in complementizers like THAT and WHETHER) denotes propositional modality. This type of modality therefore bears crucial resemblance to propositional mood like subjunctive and indicative, according to the author, and is akin to verbal mood inflections as well as verb placement (verb-first and verb-second) in signifying the values Realis and Irrealis. The book contains a plethora of new data, providing a platform for the reader to entertain the quite innovative and fresh ideas put forth by the author. I would recommend this book to anyone working with mood, or modality, or complementizers; or anyone ready to take a fresh look at the semantics of verb placement.”
Cited by

Cited by 34 other publications

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2023. Mi è modali?Costruzioni insubordinate con mi in siciliano nordorientale . Cuadernos de Filología Italiana 30  pp. 109 ff. DOI logo
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2019. Semantic features in the acquisition of mood in European Portuguese. Language Acquisition 26:3  pp. 302 ff. DOI logo
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Lichtenberk, Frantisek
2016. Complementation in Oceanic: Focus on Complementizers*. Australian Journal of Linguistics 36:3  pp. 451 ff. DOI logo
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2022. Türkçede Kip ve Kipliğe Sözdizimsel-Pragmatik Yaklaşım. IBAD Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi :12  pp. 70 ff. DOI logo
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2023. A corpus-driven description ofoin Naijá (Nigerian Pidgin). Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 38:2  pp. 290 ff. DOI logo
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2024. When covert modality sneaks into your grammar: wh-infinitives in American Norwegian. Second Language Research 40:1  pp. 171 ff. DOI logo
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Wiemer, Björn
2024. Clause-Initial Connectives, Bound and Unbound: Indicators of Mood, of Subordination, or of Something More Fundamental?. Slavia Meridionalis 23 DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2011. Publications received in 2010. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 34:1  pp. 73 ff. DOI logo

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Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2009045841 | Marc record