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date: 21 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Oceanic languages form a subgroup within the Austronesian family. The chapter is a cross-linguistic investigation of several kinds of modality: epistemic, deontic, dynamic, desiderative, and timitive; and also of the realis and the irrealis moods. The modalities are expressed by various means: affixes on verbs, particles associated with verbs, and verbs, which in some cases are not fully-fledged verbs. The timitive modality is a complex category: it simultaneously expresses epistemic modality and apprehension about the possible state of affairs. While the validity of the realis–irrealis distinction has been questioned in some of the general typological literature, the present chapter argues that the distinction is useful in Oceanic, even though there are differences of detail among the languages.

Keywords: Oceanic languages, modality, mood, deontic, desiderative, dynamic, epistemic, irrealis, realis, timitive

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