Modality – modulation (inclination)

Modulation operates on proposals, where “the meaning of the positive and negative poles is prescribing and proscribing: positive ‘do it’ and negative ‘don’t do it’ [and] there are two kinds of intermediate possibility, in this case depending on the speech function, whether command or offer” (H & M, p.147). For offers, it represents a degree of inclination, and here we also have a subjective or objective orientation, although as in usuality only the implicit is available.

1.  Subjective

High: I must do it.

Medium: I’ll do it.

Low: I may do it.

2. Objective

High: I’m determined to do it.

Medium: I’m keen to do it.

Low: I’m willing to do it.

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