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Twelve - Modal Thresholds

from Part III - Thresholds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2022

Paul Kockelman
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Chapter 12 focuses on modal intensifiers in Q’eqchi’-Maya – the forms tz’aqal and num(tajenaq), which are similar in function to English ‘enough’ and ‘too’, respectively. In particular, one of the functions of such forms is to indicate that the degree of some dimension is above or beyond an acceptable range, such that a key condition for an action or event is, or is not, met. These last two forms are particularly important because they link together significant degrees of salient dimensions, and hence intensity, and relate it to acceptability, and hence modality. Such forms are particularly salient in the context of an institution like replacement because speakers routinely use them, in conjunction with the temporal operators discussed in chapter 9, to represent and regiment various possibilities. For example, at what age does a boy acquire the requisite competence (strength and skill) to an adequate degree, such that it is normatively permissible that he may stand in for, or replace, his father in a labor pool.

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Chapter
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The Anthropology of Intensity
Language, Culture, and Environment
, pp. 327 - 355
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Modal Thresholds
  • Paul Kockelman, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: The Anthropology of Intensity
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009024235.016
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  • Modal Thresholds
  • Paul Kockelman, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: The Anthropology of Intensity
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009024235.016
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Modal Thresholds
  • Paul Kockelman, Yale University, Connecticut
  • Book: The Anthropology of Intensity
  • Online publication: 05 May 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009024235.016
Available formats
×