Volitive modality

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Volitive modality (abbreviated VOL) is a linguistic modality that indicates the desires, wishes or fears of the speaker. It is classified as a subcategory of deontic modality.[1]

Realisation in speech[edit]

Volitive moods are a category of grammatical moods that are used to express volitive modality. Examples are the optative, desiderative and imprecative moods.[1] However, many languages (like English) have other ways to express volitive modality, for example modal verbs ("Would that you were here!", "May he live forever!").

The volitive in Esperanto is really a generic deontic mood, expressing commands as well as will, desire, and purpose. It is formed by adding a -u to the verb stem.[2]

  • Estu feliĉa "May you be happy!"
  • Donu al mi panon "Give me bread!"


  1. ^ a b Loos, Eugene E.; Susan Anderson; Dwight H. Day, Jr.; Paul C. Jordan; J. Douglas Wingate. "What is volitive modality?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2009-12-28.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ Fryer, Helen. The Esperanto Teacher (10th ed.). Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 2010-03-13.