Chapter published in:Re-Assessing Modalising Expressions: Categories, co-text, and context
Edited by Pascal Hohaus and Rainer Schulze
[Studies in Language Companion Series 216] 2020
► pp. 195–222
Present-day English constructions with chance(s) in Talmy’s greater modal system and beyond
Based on qualitative and quantitative corpus research, this chapter argues that constructions with chance(s) in Present-day English enrich Talmy’s (1988) greater modal system in various ways. Firstly, in their modal uses they are equivalent to core modal auxiliaries and encode especially dynamic and epistemic meanings. We maintain that the partial decategorialization of chance allows for more fine-grained expression of modal meanings by bringing in constructional templates that incorporate slots for potential premodification, as in have a good chance of V-ing. Secondly, they can express caused-modal meanings, in which case a causative operator is added to a basic modal meaning. Finally, structures with chance(s) also exceed Talmy’s (1988) greater modal system, as they can still be used lexically, which core modals no longer can.
Keywords: force dynamics, epistemic modality, dynamic modality, complementation, shell noun, lexicalization, grammaticalization, discourse prominence, decategorialization, verbo-nominal patterns
Published online: 12 November 2020
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