D. Ways Of Conveying the Meanings of Subjective Modality

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D. Ways Of Conveying the Meanings of Subjective Modality

The relation of content to reality expressed by subjective modality is viewed upon as hypothetical. The speaker considers the event or action mentioned as assumptive or suggestive (desirable, possible, impossible, doubtful, certain /uncertain, etc.), i.e., as likely or unlikely to take place. That is why this type of modality is often referred to as «subjective modality». It is expressed in English and Ukrainian with the help of common means: a) modal words, modal expressions or sentences; b) with the help of parenthetic words/ex­pressions or parenthetic sentences; c) with the help of modal parti­cles. The latter are a characteristic feature of the Ukrainian language where this feature acquires definitely semantic characteristics.

English modals, as they are often referred to, have usually direct semantic and even structural equivalents in Ukrainian. Among these notional language units, which mostly function as syntactically independent elements in English and Ukrainian sentences, there can be singled out at least two clearly distinguishable groups: a) modals correlating with hypothetic or indirect modality and b) modals express­ing a clearly evaluative or subjective functions. The former include modal words/expressions or parenthetical elements in the sentence expressing supposition, assumption, presumability, etc. (cf. maybe, possibly, presumably, it is likely/most likely, it seems, etc.). These and other modals of the type present the attitude of the speaker to an event/action as hypothetical, as likely to take(or as having taken place, etc.). These modals have mostly direct equiva­lents in both languages:

"Maybe you got some friend Може у тебе є який друг,

that you can telephone for через котрого ти міг би дещо
George?" (Fitzgerald) переказати дляДжорджа ?»

It was probably the first time Це було мабуть/либонь чи

in his adult life that he had ever не вперше за все його доросле
cried. (J.Cheever) життя, що він сплакнув.

Semantically close to the above-cited are English modal words and expressions whose meaning is predetermined by the con­textual environment. These modals have often a hypothetical meaning, which may correspond to that of some Ukrainian modal particles or parenthetical adverbs/phrases. They include: perhaps, evidently, scarcely, no/little possibility, etc. Their Ukrainian hypothetical modal equivalents in sentences may be: певно, напевно, напевно-таки, десь-то, навряд/навряд чи, справді/насправді. For example:

"Perhaps, you've seen herpor- "Певно ви бачили її

trait in the papers." (C. Doyle) фотографію в газетах."

Jesus Christ is actually a IcycXpucmoc-ue насправді

name and a title. (J.McDowell) ім'я (Ісус) і титул (Христос).

A separate large group constitute modal words/expressions and parenthetical words/phrases or sentences expressing general as­sessment of a statement. These lexical units clearly point to the subjective evaluation of the action or event by the speaker. The modals of this group include the following:

certainly, of course, surely, definitely, really, in fact, in­deed, naturally, no doubt, without doubt, it is natural, etc. Their Ukrainian equivalents are: безперечно, безумовно, без сумніву/ немає сумніву, зрозуміло, певна річ, правду сказати, природно, як відомо, як кажуть and others. For example:

"Well, he certainly must have "Він, безперечно, мусив був

strained himself to get this прикласти великих зусиль, managerie together."(Fitzgerald) щоб прибрати до рук увесь

цей звіринець."
"Surely he is mad..." (Wilde) "Він [справді з глуздуз'їхав...'"

'This was no doubt due to his 'Це сталось, безумовно,

cowardly behaviour in the after- через його боягузливу
noon." (J. Collier) поведінку по обіді."

Subjective modality may also be rendered in both languages via elliptical sentences:

Was it because he was afraid Може це було тому, що він

of being lost in a bigger city? боявся загубитись у великому
Scarcely. (Hailey) місті? Навряд.

The above-mentioned and other means and ways of express­ing subjective modality can also be observed in several sentences of


the exercise below.

Exercise I. Identify the meanings (assumption, general assessment, assuredness, doubt, probability, supposition, etc.) expressed by the underlined modals below. Find equivalent Ukrainian modals or other semantic equivalents (e.g., particles) and translate the sentences. Model: "It was really a terrible break." (Salinger) "Це й справді був жахливий випад." or: "Це справді-таки була жахлива безтактність."

1. Latin America, in fact, is a veritable laboratory of anti-cor­ruption experiments. 2. Perhaps, in the end, the only universal cure for corruption is to quietnature democracy. (Newsweek) 3. «Maybe they won't come? Maybe it was all a lie?» «Maybe.» (Steinbeck)

4. «Oh, I feel some concern for my future all right. Sure. Sure. I do.»

5. «I thought about it for a minute». «But not too much, I guess.» (Salinger) 6. She was apparently indifferent to her two daughters... (Fitzgerald) 7. The young fellow was obviously anxious to be well with him. (J.Cary) 8. «Really.» she thought, «I should come out more of­ten, really it is very pleasant here in summer...» 9. «The sand isn't so soft here.» «Of course, of course.» 10. She was very quiet for some moments, as if, perhaps, shy of being alone with him. (Bates) 11. «Yes, indeed, he's such a good watch-dog.» 12. «You did not approve of paying such a sum, naturally.» 13. «i wanted to bring the crab.» «All right, darling, all right.» 14. «I think I got a good picture of Heidi ,» «Indeed. Indeed.» (Bcites) 15. «And toddy, most fortunstely, is a Thursday.» 16. «After all, three hundred pounds is three hundred pounds.» «Certainly it is.» 17. «Unfortunately, when you opened it contained only blank sheets of paper.» 18. The builders' letter he kept to the last. Some bill, probably. 19. «I couldn't care less, frankly.» 20. «They can't possibly do it any more than they can prove, it won you.» (Hailey) 21. «No doubt, if you were a good detective, you'd be able to make it much clearer to me than it is.» (Salinger) 22. «An unpleasant and dangerous looking young man», he thought, «and not impossibly a murderer.» (Christie)

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