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Journal|[J]Theory and Practice in Language Studies (TPLS)Volume 12, Issue 6. 2022. PP 1166-1171
Understanding Putative Should: A Semantic Approach
Author: Chuncan Feng
摘要 / Abstract
Chinese learners of English have much difficulty in understanding putative should. This article attempts to find out the cause of this difficulty. It makes a semantic study of sentences with putative should used in that-clauses, discusses five distinctions between them, and presents a corpus-assisted study of the semantic constraint of factuality accompanying the emotive should. It finds that the learning difficulty results from the fuzzy nature of the term ‘putative should’, which fails to adequately describe and explain the five differences. It argues that the teaching and learning of putative should should focus on understanding its two distinct uses, the suasive should and the emotive should, in nominal that-clauses. The suasive should denotes obligation, applies to something yet to come, and goes with suasive key words in sentences in whose that-clauses the present subjunctive can be used instead. The emotive should denotes surprise, applies to a personal, psychological, subjective fact, and goes with an emotive element, linguistic or extralinguistic, in sentences in whose that-clauses the indicative can be used instead but the present subjunctive cannot. The emotive element can take the form of an emotive word, a negative expression, or even the tone of voice.
关键词 / Keywords
推定的应该; 使用不当; 情感使用; 子虚设
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