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Modalities
(43 Messages in 5 pages - View all)
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40.       si++
3785 posts
 25 Nov 2011 Fri 06:55 pm

 

Quoting Abla

Edited (Nov 24) by Abla
Edited (9:09 am) by Abla

 

Why´s that? Hadn´t I read somethings here yesterday??

41.       Abla
3647 posts
 25 Nov 2011 Fri 07:21 pm

I don´t know, don´t ask me. The more I looked at it the more stupid it seemed. And I prefer not to look (so very) stupid.

42.       si++
3785 posts
 25 Nov 2011 Fri 07:34 pm

 

Quoting Abla

I don´t know, don´t ask me. The more I looked at it the more stupid it seemed. And I prefer not to look (so very) stupid.

 

I just had taken a quick look at the text. I told to myself "hey, this looks complicated maybe I should read it some other time".

43.       Abla
3647 posts
 25 Nov 2011 Fri 08:05 pm

It´s childish, I know, but you know, this feeling that you sometimes get when you look at your own text...

Ok, considering that

       1. no one else will probably bother to read it

       2. you have already witnessed all my blunders during months, si++,

I guess I still have it somewhere here...(opening and closing miscellanous files). Here. Feel free to read it when you have time.

 

________

Modality in linguistics means expressions of possibility and necessity and the continuum between them.

 

In Turkish, two basic grammatical morphemes express modal functions: -meli- for ‘certainty, obligation, no choice’ and –(e)bil- for ‘ability, permission, possibility’. In addition, lexical expressions are used, such as the adjectives lazım and mecbur, the verb gerekmek ‘to be necessary’ and numerous conversational adverbials (belki, elbette).

 

The modal morphemes are added to the verb stem in a certain order. Closest to the stem we will find expressions of Dynamic modality (I in the table below) which concern the agent’s personal qualities or given conditions. Deontic modalities (II) are consequences of manipulation. Epistemic modality (III) works in the truth values that the speaker gives to the proposition. It hasn’t come to my knowledge that verbal expressions of dynamic and deontic modality differ in Turkish but I keep them separate because they can both have their expression in the same verb.

 

For more information about the definitions of dynamic, deontic and epistemic modality, see http://dinamico2.unibg.it/anglistica/slin/modgloss.htm.

 

I collected some examples of typical modal meanings which were handled in this discussion. Notice, that in this table only potential -(e)bil-, necessitative -meli- and negation are used.

 

Example

Verb Stem

I

no choice

ability

II

obligation

permission

III

certainty

possibility

Türkçe

 

‘he must eat’

1. ye

meli

 

 

 

yemeli

2. ye

 

meli

 

3. ye

 

 

meli

 

‘he can not do’

4. et

bil + NEG

 

 

 

edemez

5. et

 

bil + NEG

 

 

‘he may not ask’

6. sor + NEG

 

 

bil

sormabilir

7. sor

 

bil +NEG

 

soramaz

 

‘he must not take’

8. al + NEG

meli

 

 

 

 

almamalı

9. al + NEG

 

meli

 

10. al + NEG

 

 

meli

 

 

‘he must be able to swim’

11. yüz

bil

meli

 

 

 

yüzebilmeli

12. yüz

bil

 

meli

13. yüz

 

bil

meli

‘he may be unable to see’

14. gör

bil + NEG

 

bil

göremeyebilir

‘he may not be able to make’

15. yap

bil

 

bil + NEG

yapabilemez

It surprised me to see how logical the system is and how the three-button-game (bil, meli, NEG) is played. Not every possible combination, though, is really used in language.

 

But there is still one joker: certain modal meanings can only be expressed with the help of lexical elements: koşmak zorunda kalabilir, bunu yapması lazım değil and gitmemeli değil rose up in this discussion. The simple table explains them also. You see, whatever combination there is of the three types of modality, –meli- is the last element on the right. Nothing follows it, not even negation. So,

 

         16. koşmak zorunda kalabilir ‘he may have to run’ ≠ koş + meli + bil

         17. bunu yapması lazım değil ‘he doesn’t have to do this’ ≠ yap + meli + NEG

         18. gitmemeli değil: ‘it’s not necessary for him not to go’ ≠ git + NEG + meli + NEG

 

because in this simple system of three options –meli- cannot be followed by anything. That’s why roundabout (lexical) expressions have to be used instead.

 



Edited (11/25/2011) by Abla

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