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Less is more: possibility and necessity as centres of gravity in a usage-based classification of core modals in Polish

Когда меньше значит больше: возможность и необходимость как центры тяжести в узуальной классификации модальности в польском языке

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Abstract

In this paper we present the results of an empirical study into the cognitive reality of existing classifications of modality using Polish data.

We analyzed random samples of 250 independent observations for the 7 most frequent modal words (móc ‘can’, można ‘it is possible’, musieć ‘must’, należy ‘it is necessary’, powinien ‘should’, trzeba ‘it is required’, wolno ‘it is allowed’), extracted from the National Corpus of Polish. Observations were annotated for modal type according to four different classifications of modality, as well as for morphological, syntactic and semantic properties using the Behavioral Profiling approach. Multiple correspondence analysis and (polytomous) regression models were used to determine how well modal type and usage align. These corpus-based findings were validated experimentally. In a forced choice task, ‘naive’ native speakers were exposed to definitions and prototypical examples of modal types or functions and then labeled a number of authentic corpus sentences accordingly. In the sorting task, naive native speakers sorted authentic corpus sentences into semantically coherent groups.

In this article we discuss the results of our empirical study as well as the issues involved in building usage-based accounts on traditional linguistic classifications.

Аннотация

В статье мы представляем результаты эмпирического исследования модальности на материале польского языка, уделяя особое внимание когнитивной реальности существующих классификаций модальности.

Мы проанализировали выборки по 250 примеров из Национального Корпуса Польского Языка для семи наиболее частотных модальных слов польского языка (móc, można, musieć, należy, powinien, trzeba, wolno). Примеры были аннотированы в соответствии с методикой ‘поведенческих профилей’ (Behavioral Profiles), включая разметку морфологических, синтаксических и семантических свойств, а также типа модальности согласно 4 классификациям. С помощью многомерного анализа соответствий (multiple correspondence analysis) и модели (политомической) регрессии мы исследовали, насколько хорошо модальные типы сопоставляются с характеристиками употребления.

Результаты статистического анализа корпусных данных были подвергнуты экспериментальной проверке. В первом задании ‘наивным’ носителям польского языка были представленны дефиниции и прототипические примеры модальных типов, на основе которых им необходимо было разметить ряд предложений из корпуса. Во втором задании наивные носители должны были объединить предложения из корпуса в семантически связные группы.

В статье обсуждаются результаты эмпирического исследования модальности так же как и проблемы использования традиционных классификаций модальности в лингвистических теориях, ориентированных на узус.

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Notes

  1. http://nkjp.pl/.

  2. Sample surveys can be viewed online:

    Forced choice (labelling) task (modality types)—https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jiTj6ovAVxzHnnZlykk9khxflHg7EooHjLd8ayUeQjA/viewform.

    Forced choice (labelling) task (modal functions)—https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oAqeSQDvXR7ZwfuneYw0xSCcZpB3L1tqCyr85chIryM/viewform.

    Sorting task (modality types)—https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_9miRcLCj5jvFqUR.

    Sorting task (modal functions)—https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_0kwbQc16TEb3g2x.

  3. Available on sjp.pwn.pl.

  4. Version 59627 of the Qualtrics Research Suite. Copyright© 2014 Qualtrics.

  5. Salmoni, A. Open Card Sort Analysis 101. 2012. http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/open-card-sort-analysis-101/.

  6. Divjak, D., Szymor, N., Lyashevskaya, O., Ovsjannikova, M., Clancy, S., and Stanojević, M.-M. Towards a usage-based categorization of modality in Slavic. International conference on evidentiality and modality in European languages 2014 (EMEL’14). Theme session: Evidentiality, Modality and Corpus Linguistics. Facultad de Filología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 6–8 October 2014. Also: Divjak, D., Szymor, N., Lečić, D., Clancy, S., Lyashevskaya, O., Ovsjannikova, M., Stanojević, M.-M. and Peti-Stantić, A. Whose mind do classifications of modality mirror? Presented at the 13th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, 20–25 July 2015, Newcastle, UK.

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Correspondence to Dagmar Divjak.

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This project has received ethical approval from The School of Languages & Cultures at The University of Sheffield (UK).

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Divjak, D., Szymor, N. & Socha-Michalik, A. Less is more: possibility and necessity as centres of gravity in a usage-based classification of core modals in Polish. Russ Linguist 39, 327–349 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11185-015-9153-6

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