Modality packaging in Japanese : the encoding of modal meanings and subjectivity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper focuses on the grammatical expression or ‘packaging’ of modality in Japanese. I consider two aspects: (1) the grammatical encoding of epistemic, deontic, and evidential notions with English as a point of comparison, and (2) the co-encoding of modality and subjectivity. As for the former aspect, the comparison between Japanese and English exemplifies how languages can take different strategies for grammatical modality packaging, linking and encoding cognitive categories in language-specific ways. Regarding the latter aspect, I discuss how modal markers exhibit different degrees of subjectivity. Not only epistemic modality, whose subjective character is often mentioned in the literature, but also deontic and evidential modality can be subjective or objective. I also consider the broader implications for linguistic theory.


  • Lars Larm
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • modality packaging, epistemic, deontic, evidential, subjectivity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-46
JournalStudies in Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch