Performative Modality

With performative modality the speaker performs an action through his or her utterance, which may be:
- giving permission,
- laying an obligation,
- making a commitment,
- expressing a wish,
- making known a decision.

Performative modality parallels deontic modality, in so far as the latter can be seen as the result of the former (the speaker's speech act) on the possibility or necessity associated with the fact referred to and their participants.
Some constructions used for expressing deontic modality may also acquire a performative meaning, especially with interrogative or past (attenuative) forms (see forms in red).

The meanings of performative modality can be structured along two axis:
- the nature of the modality, i.e. permission, obligation, wish, decision,
- the person who is the target of the speech act, the speaker itself (1st), the addressee (2nd), or another absent person (3rd).

The morphologic devices used to render those modalities are very diverse, and can be as follows:
- the imperative/optative mood,
- the irrealis/conditional -SA,
- constructions with gerund plus auxiliary verbs,
- plain verbs, using the infinitive.
In all cases, these constructions apply to verbs, including for statives ('to be') for which the verb bo'l- must be used.

To see the meanings of these terms, you can also hover the mouse over the terms written in italic blue.
Click inside the boxes with plain borders to get explanations of usages of all constructions inside and examples of them.
Click on the Uzbek form of the construction to get information on its morphology.
In the constructions referred to on the map, the verb on which the modality is applied appears on the left side of the hyphen.


Back to top
Previous page:Deontic Modality
Next page:Irrealis Modality