How modality may function in some early issues of the Philosophical Transactions

Authors

  • David Banks Université de Bretagne Occidentale

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4995/rlyla.2012.1125

Keywords:

modal auxiliaries, modality (epistemic, dynamic, deontic), Philosophical Transactions, scientific

Abstract

The Philosophical Transactions was founded by Henry Oldenburg in 1665. The contents of the journal were based on his correspondence, and initially consisted of extracts from the many letters he received. The scope of the journal was that of “natural philosophy”, or science and technology in contemporary terms. The linguistic features of its early issues are of particular interest. Among these is that of modality. A previous study indicated that the most common form used to express modality is that of the modal auxiliaries, and the most frequent auxiliaries are may and will. The type of modality that is most commonly expressed is dynamic. Study of an enlarged sample confirms the dominance of auxiliaries but the specific auxiliaries used vary from issue to issue. It also confirms the dominance of dynamic modality. This is consistent with the focus on physical observation and experiment which was adopted by the Royal Society.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Avramov, I. (1999). “An apprenticeship in scientific communication: the early correspondence of Henry Oldenburg (1656-63)”. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 53/2:187-201. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.1999.0074

Banks, D. (1994). “Hedges and how to trim them” in: M. Brekke M, Ø. Andersen, T. Dahl & J. Myking (eds.) Applications and Implications of Current LSP Research, Vol. 2. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, 587-592.

Banks, D. (2005). Introduction à la linguistique systémique fonctionnelle de l’anglais. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Banks, D. (2008). The Development of Scientific Writing, Linguistic features and historical context. London: Equinox.

Banks, D. (2009a). “Creating a specialized discourse: the case of the Philosophical Transactions”. ASp, la revue du GERAS 56: 29-44.

Banks, D. (2009b). “Notes on illustrations in some early issues of the Philosophical Transactions” in S. Slembrouck, M. Taverniers & M. Van Herreweghe (eds.) From will to well, Studies in linguistics offered to Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen. Gent: Academia Press, 21-41.

Banks, D. (2009c). “Starting science in the vernacular. Notes on some early issues of the Philosophical Transactions and the Journal des Sçavans, 1665-1700” ASp, la revue du GERAS 55: 5-22.

Banks, D. (2010a). “Transitivity and thematic structure in some early issues of the Philosophical Transactions” ASp, la revue du GERAS 58: 57-71.

Banks, D. (2010b). “The beginnings of vernacular scientific discourse: genres and linguistic features in some early issues of the Journal des Sçavans and the Philosophical Transactions” E-rea 8/1, http://erea.reviews.org/1334

Banks, D. (Forthcoming). “Les formes et fonctions de la modalité dans le Journal des Sçavans et les Philosophical Transactions à la fin du 17ème siècle” in D. Banks (ed.) La modalité dans le texte de spécialité. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Bluhm, R.K. (1960). “Henry Oldenburg, F.R.S. (c1615-1677)” in H. Hartley (ed.) The Royal Society. Its origins and founders. London: The Royal Society, 182-197.

Chapman, A. (2005). England’s Leonard: Robert Hooke and the seventeenth-century scientific revolution. Bristol: Institute of Physics Publishing.

Cocheris, H. (1860). Histoire du Journal des Savants depuis sa fondation jusqu’à nos jours. Paris: A. Durand.

Gotti, M. (2006). “Disseminating early modern science: specialized news discourse in the Philosophical Transactions” in N. Brownlees (ed.) News Discourse in Early Modern Britain. Bern, Peter Lang.

Gribbin, J. (2005). The Fellowship, The story of a revolution. London: Allen lane.

Hall, M.B. (2002). Henry Oldenburg. Shaping the Royal Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M.A.K. (revised C.M.I.M. Matthiessen) (2004): An introduction to Functional Grammar, 3rd edn. London: Arnold.

Larreya, P. (1984). Le possible et le nécessaire. Modalités et auxiliaires modaux en anglais britannique. Paris: Nathan.

Lyons, H. (1944). The Royal Society, 1660-1940. A history of its administration under its Charters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Morgan, B.T. (1928). Histoire du Journal des Sçavans depuis 1665 jusqu’en 1701. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

Palmer, F.R. (1986). Mood and Modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Paris, G. (1903). Le Journal des Savants. Journal des Savants, Janvier 1903, 5-34.

Perkins, M.R. (1983). Modal Expressions in English. London: Pinter.

Taverniers, M. (2003). “Grammatical metaphor in SFL: A historiography of the introduction and initial study of the concept” in A.-M.Simon-Vandenbergen, M. Taverniers & L. Ravelli (eds.) Grammatical metaphor, Views from Systemic Functional Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 5-33.

Published

2012-07-12

Issue

Section

Articles