Keywords: deontic modality, embedded clause, attitudinal, interpersonal, hedge, probability


This paper addresses the challenges of downtoning the speaker’s probability in discourse and revealing its means of expression. A study of objective statements in various discourse registers using the linguistic category of modality has potency of investigating the correlation of hedging and the type of modality which is considered to be an aspect of interpersonal metafunction in

language competence (Aumuller, 2014). The term "modality" shares a range of concepts within the fields ofphilosophy, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse-analysis. Studies on modality as an interpersonal metafunction in Systemic Functional Linguistics have in the literature, mainly focused on variants of genres and/or discourse namely; conservative, legal, media, literary, academic, political and medical discourse as well as the contemporary English usage (Jespersen, 1924). The present paper continues the author’s] series on hedging in discourse (Mykhaylenko, 2017). The discourse strategy of hedging/downtoning seems to play a paramount role in discourse: the speaker gives the hearer a possibility to objectively interpret his/her intentional meaning, on the other hand, the hearer expects a definite deontic constituent on the part of the speaker. Based on quantitative and qualitative methods, the article argues that the use of modal expressions can be better explained as reflecting the strategies of hedging used by writers for dealing with the social conditions. Within critical discourse analysis, modality is understood as encompassing much more than simply the occurrence of overt modal auxiliaries such as may, might, can, could, will, would, shall, should, must, and ought (Fowler,

1985). Rather, modality concerns the speaker's attitude toward and/or confidence in the proposition being presented.


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