LINGUIST List 7.1230

Wed Sep 4 1996

Sum: Epistemic shall

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. "M.Shuib", Sum: epistemic shall

Message 1: Sum: epistemic shall

Date: Mon, 02 Sep 1996 10:13:50 BST
From: "M.Shuib" <>
Subject: Sum: epistemic shall
A few weeks ago I asked this question:
Can the modal shall be used epistemically?

I received three responses. Tracy Mansfield
( said that `the only
epistemic uses of shall are matters of vintage vernacular'. Mark
Mandel (, a white native USEng speaker, said that
he does not use epistemic shall and have never ever heard of it and
Clyde Daverport ( said that shall can be
used epistemically if we consider future tenses to be epistemic. I
later sent them this example and asked them to analyse it.

...but if the molecules are identical and regular, then when we go to
a certain distance along each chain we shall find two more groups of
atoms in just the right place to be attracted to one another.

Mark Mandel replied that shall is used epistemically here, whereas
Tracy Mansfield interpreted it as either root or epistemic.

Thank you for all three who responded to my query.
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