Agent-oriented modality

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Agent-oriented modality is a subtype of modality in which conditions on the agent play a role (e.g. ability, obligation).


Bybee, Perkins, and Pagliuca (1994: 176-181) divide modality into four main types: agent-oriented modality, speaker-oriented modality, epistemic modality, and subordinate modality. Agent-oriented modality “reports the existence of internal and external conditions on an agent with respect to the completion of the action” (1994: 177).


Bybee, Joan L. & Perkins, Revere & Pagliuca, William. 1994. The evolution of grammar: Tense, aspect and modality in the languages of the world. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Other languages

German Agens-orientierte Modalität