7.3. MOD

Definition of the MOD functor

The MOD functor (modality) is a functor for such an atomic node that represents an expression of modality of the utterance contents (or its part). This modality can be described as necessity, possibility or probability.

The modality of events (and states) is expressed by means of modal verbs; in such cases the information on modality is carried by the deontmod grammateme value (see Section 5.10, "The deontmod grammateme (deontic modality)"). However, modal meanings can also be expressed by certain particles and adverbs. We do not distinguish the individual meanings of such words (necessity, possibility, probability) - we represent all of them as modifications with the functor MOD.

NB! For the syntactic nature of the MOD modifications see Section 11.1.3, "The semantic scope of modifications with the functors MOD and ATT".

Forms. The basic forms of MOD modifications are:

Agreeing form of an adjective. With nouns denoting events (nouns ending with -ní and ; see also Section, "Functors assigned to the non-valency modifications of nouns referring to events"), MOD modifications can also be expressed by an agreeing form of an adjective (only marginally).


pravděpodobné.MOD ukončení závodu (=lit. (a) probable end (of) (the) race)

možné.MOD selhání (=lit. (a) possible failure)

Figure 7.44. The MOD functor

The MOD functor

Pravděpodobně přijdeme. (=lit. Probably we_will_come)

7.3.1. Borderline cases with the MOD functor

Borders with other functors (particularly the functors MANN and EXT). Certain adverbs and particles (e.g. snad (=hopefully), prý (=supposedly)) have a very specific semantics: they only express modal meanings (therefore the nodes representing these expressions always have the MOD functor). Other adverbs and particles can also have other meanings, besides the modal ones (MANN, EXT etc.). In a particular construction, it is necessary to distinguish these meanings. Cf.:

  • Mysleli to doopravdy.MANN (=lit. (They) meant it really.)

  • Doopravdy.MOD se to stalo. (=lit. Really REFL it happened.)

Border with the RHEM functor. Modifications with the MOD functor can border on rhematizers. For details see Section 6.1.2, "Homonymy: rhematizer - modal expressions (ATT and MOD)".