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date: 26 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the semantics of “mood”, both in the sense of the opposition among clause types, that is, “sentential/sentence moods,” or “sentential forces”, and in the sense of the distinction between realis and irrealis, or indicative and subjunctive. It begins by considering the most important sentence moods, namely, declaratives, imperatives, interrogatives, exclamatives and optatives. It then discusses the notions of realis and irrealis or indicative and subjunctive. It concludes by underscoring the importance of a study of interpretive effects in elucidating the interaction between semantics and pragmatics, since the semantics of mood appears to depend on a set of contextual clues which arise from different sources and provide non-conceptual input to the pragmatic process of utterance interpretation.

Keywords: notional moods, sentence moods, declaratives, imperatives, interrogatives, exclamatives, optatives, realis, irrealis, semantics

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