Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

The Semantics of the Modal Must in a French Version of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Akpaca Servais

The modal ‘must’ have been used 41 times in the play with different flavours. Just like Kratzer, this paper stresses that ‘must’ is a neutral modal but the different meanings it takes in the French version are determined by the contexts. The conversational background, i.e. the modal base and the ordering source, is a key element that influences the meaning of the modal in a context. The different flavours of the modal include the deontic, the epistemic and the stereotypical. Modal logic shows that the context has a great importance in modal semantics, especially in cross-linguistic interpretation.

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