Towards a pragmatic analysis of modals shall and will in Chaucer's language

Towards a pragmatic analysis of modals shall and will in Chaucer's language

This paper attempts to provide the first systematic analysis of the modals SHALL and WILL in Chaucer's language from pragmatic viewpoints. In addition to speech acts and alternation in discourse, this study examined modality in detail, which has a close relationship to pragmatic factors.

Whereas SHALL is distributed across all kind of modalities, WILL has a limited variety, with a strong preference to dynamic modality. The inventory of speech acts suggests a strong connection to relevant modality, although some cases are not related to any particular modality. WILL again has a more limited variety than SHALL. Incorporating these results into analysis, the scope of examination is extended to the alternation in discourse, i.e., discourse markers, successive employments of the same modal, and alternative uses of both modals. The findings here which other studies would ascribe simply to a matter of variation are in fact well-motivated and controlled by various factors such as modality, speaker-based vs. hearer-based speech acts, and social role.

It is suggested that further analysis of discourse and modals in other periods will shed more light on the pragmatic development of the modal and temporal systems in English.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Archer, Dawn 2010 "Speech acts", in: Andreas H. Jucker - Irma Taavitsainen (eds.), 379-417.

  • Arnovick, Leslie Katherine 1990 The development of future constructions in English: The pragmatics of modal and temporal will and shall in Middle English. (Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics 2.) New York: Peter Lang.

  • Arnovick, Leslie Katherine 1999 Diachronic pragmatics: Seven case studies in English illocutionary development. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 68.) Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  • Austin, John Langshow 1962 How to do things with words: The William James Lectures delivered at Harvard University in 1955. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Benson, Larry Dean (ed.) 1987 The Riverside Chaucer (3rd edition). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • Brinton, Laurel Jean 1996 Pragmatic markers in English: Grammaticalization and discourse functions. (Topics in English Linguistics 19.) Berlin - New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Brown, Penelope - Stephen Curtis Levinson 1987 Politeness: Some universals in language usage. (Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 4.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Coates, Jennifer 1983 The semantics of the modal auxiliaries. (Croom Helm Linguistics Series.) London: Croom Helm.

  • Cole, Peter - Jerry L. Morgan (eds.) 1975 Syntax and semantics. Volume III: Speech acts. San Diego: Academic Press.

  • Fridén, Georg 1948 Studies on the tenses of the English verb from Chaucer to Shakespeare: With special reference to the late sixteenth century. (Essays and Studies on English Language and Literature 2.) Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell.

  • Fries, Charles Carpenter 1925 "The periphrastic future shall and will in Modern English", PMLA 40: 963-1024.

  • Gladwin, T. - W. C. Sturtevant (eds.) 1962 Anthropology and human behavior. Washington, D. C.: Anthropological Society of Washington.

  • Gordon, David - George Lakoff 1975 "Conversational postulates", in: Peter Cole - Jerry Morgan (eds.), 83-106.

  • Gotti, Maurizio - Marina Dossena - Richard Dury - Roberta Facchinetti - Maria Lima 2002 Variation in central modals: A repertoire of forms and types of usage in Middle English and Early Modern English (Linguistic Insights: Studies in Language and Communication 4.) Bern: Peter Lang.

  • Guthrie, Steven R. 1992 "Shall and will in Troilus and Criseyde", English Studies 73: 481-492.

  • Hymes, Del Hathaway 1962 "The ethnography of speaking", in: T. Gladwin - W. C. Sturtevant (eds.), 13-53.

  • Jacobs, Andreas - Andreas H. Jucker 1995 "The historical perspective in pragmatics", in: Andreas H. Jucker (ed.), 3-33.

  • Jucker, Andreas H. (ed.) 1995 Historical pragmatics: Pragmatic developments in the history of English. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 35.) Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  • Jucker, Andreas H. - Irma Taavitsainen 2000 "Diachronic speech act analysis: Insults from flyting to flaming", Journal of Historical Pragmatics 1: 67-95.

  • Jucker, Andreas H. - Irma Taavitsainen (eds.) 2008 Speech acts in the history of English. (Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 176.). Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  • Jucker, Andreas H. - Irma Taavitsainen (eds.) 2010 Historical pragmatics. (Handbook of Pragmatics 8.) Berlin - New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Kang, Young-Se - Jong-Yuri Yoon - Jongseon Hong - Jiun-Shiung Wu - Seongha Rhee - Kyoung-Ae Kim - Dong-Ho Choi - Kee-Ho Kim - Hye-Kyung Kang (eds.) 2010 Universal grammar and individual languages (SICOL-2010). CD-ROM. Seoul: Hankookmunhwasa.

  • Kerkhof, Jelle 1982 Studies in the language of Geoffrey Chaucer. (Leidse Germanistische en Anglistischew reeks 5.) (2nd edition). Leiden: E. J. Brill - Leiden University Press.

  • Kytö, Merja 1991 Variation and diachrony, with Early American English in focus: Studies on CAN/MAY and SHALL/WILL. (Bamberger Beiträge zur Englischen Sprachwissenschaft/University of Bamberg Studies in English Linguistics 28.) Frankfurt am Main, etc.: Peter Lang.

  • Nakayasu, Minako 2009 The pragmatics of modals in Shakespeare. (Polish Studies in English Language and Literature 30.) Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

  • Nakayasu, Minako 2010 "Modals ‘shall’ and ‘will’ in Shakespeare: A discourse-pragmatic analysis", in: Young-Se Kang, et al. (eds.).

  • Oizumi, Akio 1991-1994 A complete concordance to the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 12 volumes. Hildesheim - New York: Georg Olms Verlag.

  • Östman, Jan-Ola - Tuija Virtanen [1995] 2010 "Discourse analysis", in: Jef Verschueren, et al. (compiled).

  • Pakkala-Weckström, Mari 2010 "Chaucer", in: Andreas H. Jucker - Irma Taavitisainen (eds.), 219-245.

  • Palmer, Frank Robert 2001 Mood and modality. (2nd edition). (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics.) Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sacks, Harvey - Emanuel A. Schegloff - Gail Jefferson 1974 "A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation", Language 50: 696-735.

  • Schiffrin, Deborah 1987 Discourse markers. (Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 5.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Searle, John Rogers 1976 "A classification of illocutionary acts", Language in Society 5: 1-23.

  • Smith, Jeremy J. 2005 Essentials of Early English: An introduction to Old, Middle and Early Modern English. (2nd edition). London - New York: Routledge.

  • Verschueren, Jef - Jan-Ola Östman - Jan Blommaert - Chris Bulcaen 1995 [2010] The handbook of pragmatics manual. Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. [The handbook of pragmatics online. (http://www.benjamins.com/online/hop) (Accessed 6 January 2011) http://www.benjamins.com/online/hop

  • Verstraete, Jean-Christophe 2001 "Subjective and objective modality: Interpersonal and ideational functions in the English modal auxiliary system", Journal of Pragmatics 33: 1505-1528.

  • Visser, Frederik Theodoor 1969 An historical syntax of the English language. Part Three, First Half: Syntactical units with two verbs. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

  • Weida, Gudrun 1975 Der Gebrauch von shall/should und will/would in englischer Prosa am Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts. [Inaugural-Dissertation, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.]

  • Widdowson, Henry George 2007 Discourse analysis. (Oxford Introductions to Language Study.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search