chapter  Two
36 Pages

Mood and modality

WithLeo Hoye

This chapter explains the two concepts whose explication is central to the present study namely mood and modality. Confusion may arise out of the use of these terms because the terminological distinction between them is not always rigorously observed when modal concepts are being discussed. Thus Palmer argues that 'Modality is a semantic term only to propose in a later work that it is possible to recognize a grammatical category, that of modality, which is similar to aspect, tense, number, gender. He also suggests that modality can be used to refer the grammatical category even though traditional studies talk of mood. The terminological problem mirrors peculiarities in the way modal contrasts are expressed in English and endorses traditional approaches and use mood to refer to the grammatical category, and modality to refer to the entire semantic field of modal contrasts whether these be realized lexically, grammatically or prosodically.