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in linguistics, a conceptual category expressing the purposefulness of speech, the relationship of a speaker to the content of his utterance, and the relationship of the content of the utterance to reality.

Modality may signify affirmation, command, desire, permission, truth, and unreality. It is expressed by various grammatical and lexical means: modal verbs (“may,” “should”; German sollen, konnen, wollen), other modal words (“perhaps,” “likely”), and intonational means. Different languages express the various meanings of modality in different ways. For example, English expresses the modality of unreality by means of a special conjugation, the subjunctive II (“If you had come in time, we would have been able to catch the train”). In Yagnobi, the forms of the present-future tense can have the modal nuances of indirect command, permission, invitation to action, and intention of doing something.



the mode of existence of some object or the mode of duration of some phenomenon (ontological modality) or the way of understanding or drawing conclusions about an object, phenomenon, or event (epistemological or logical modality).

The concept of modality, which goes back to Aristotle, was later used in classical philosophical systems. The words (terms) expressing different modal concepts are the object of linguistic study. The distinction between propositions according to modality, elaborated in classical logic by the students and commentators of Aristotle (such as Theophrastus and Eudemus of Rhodes), was further defined by the medieval Scholastics.

In modern logic and philosophy, I. Kant’s division of propositions into assertoric (judgments about reality), apodictic (judgments of necessity), and problematic (judgments of possibility) has become traditional. The generally accepted derivation of the proposition “A occurs” from “A is necessary” and the proposition “A is possible” from “A occurs” has become the foundation of work on modality in contemporary formal (mathematical) logic. Modalities pertaining to propositions or predicates are known as alethic, while modalities pertaining to words expressing actions and acts are called deontic.

Modalities are further divided into “absolute” and “relative,” according to the usual meaning of these terms. In contemporary modal logic and logical semantics, modality is also sometimes understood to include the concepts “true” and “false,” as well as “provable,” “unprovable,” and “refutable.”


References in periodicals archive ?
Severe attack at the last leaf to modality 3 conditions caused significant yield reductions following the latter's role.
ATMS accreditation in a modality does not guarantee provider status as all funds have their own set of eligibility requiemets.
A delegation of the IAEA inspectors recently had a visit of Iran to harmonize about the details of a modality regarding the Iranian nuclear program," he told reporters in Madrid on Wednesday.
The title of the dissertation was "The Modality of the Verbal Infinitive Absolute in Biblical Hebrew," which is worth noting if only because the title of the published volume is more accurate: this book is as much a study of modality in Biblical Hebrew as it is of the infinitive absolute.
Whereas SHALL is distributed across all kind of modalities, WILL has a limited variety, with a strong preference to dynamic modality.
I have used only written material, leaving out the features of spoken language, such as intonation and gestures, which might otherwise help to understand the modality of a certain expression.
For both genders combined, the strongest predictor of adherence was a physician's referral that matched a patient's preferred screening modality (adjusted odds ratio 3.
But as flexible and effective as these machines are, clinicians must receive good training and ongoing support for modality use to reach their full potential.
The classic articulation of Quine's skepticism about de re modalizing is his Reference and Modality argument against the semantic and metaphysical coherence of de re modal predication.
This study investigated the effects of modality (text, audio, or dual) on the achievement and attitudes of college students learning a software application through the computer.
The knife (which represents any modality, high or low tech) is not inherently good or bad.