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By Stephen Weston

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However here the correlations are looser. For example in (2) above, where must has a 3rd person subject, the modality is clearly objective and yet at the same time it is high-strength, with the severity of the consequences for non-compliance spelt out. Again, the 2nd person subject in (6) above is associated with a clearly subjective use of must, but the speech act of polite exhortation is associated with weak resistibility only. 2 Epistemic must In discussing epistemic must both Coates (1983: 41) and Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 181) refer to the speaker’s ‘confidence’.

A slightly different focus, on the conditions for actualization rather than on the agent, occurs in Bybee and Fleischman (1995: 6), for whom agentoriented markers “predicate conditions on an agent with regard to the completion of an action referred to by the main predicate”. The most common and arguably important type of root modality is ‘deontic’, which occurs when the factors impinging on the actualization of the situation referred to in the utterance involve some type of authority – as when a person or a set of rules or a social convention is responsible for the imposition of an obligation or a granting of permission (as in You must/may leave at 3pm).

The examples in (14)–(17) invite a subjective interpretation: in (14) the speaker engages in insistent self-incitement, (15) instantiates a polite Necessity and obligation 37 exhortation of self and addressee using inclusive we, and (16) and (17) illustrate the formulaic use of must with a verb of communication in which the utterance effectively realizes the act of admission or statement (a very common use which accounts for 30% of all tokens of (deontic) must with a 1st person subject in the present data): (14) (15) (16) (17) It was very comfortable except for not have enough non-smoking places.

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