Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Conation Vs Modality

Halliday & Matthiessen (2004: 503):
The other form that has turned into a finite element within the verbal group is the potential form can, in the sense of ‘have the ability to’; it is cognate with know, so ‘know how to do’. This now also a modal form, again of the modulation type — in this case not obligation but readiness (inclination or ability).