Use this section for verbal auxiliaries, affixes, adverbs, and particles that indicate agent-oriented modalities. Agent-oriented modalities describe internal or external conditions on a willful agent with respect to the completion of the predicate situation. They may be combined with any of the tenses, either in the same morpheme or in combinations of morphemes. The following definitions are taken from Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca. 1994. The evolution of grammar. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Louw Nida Codes:
ability: the agent of the verb has the mental or physical ability to complete the action of the main verb.
ability, mental: English: 'Melissa can speak Dutch'.
ability, physical: English: 'Hortense can swim the English Channel'.
attempt: the agent attempts to complete the action specified by the predicate. Note: this has a sense of incompleteness, and I have seen authors call this "Incomplete" and gloss the examples with 'try'.
try to, attempt to,
desire: the agent of the verb desires or wants to complete the action of the verb.
want to, would like to,
obligation: the agent is obliged to perform the action of the verb.
obligation, strong: it is absolutely incumbent upon the agent to complete the action of the main verb: 'I have to mail this letter today'.
have to, must,
obligation, weak: it is recommended that the agent complete the action of the main verb: 'Harry ought to get a haircut before meeting Sue's mother'.
ought to, should,
permission: the agent is allowed to complete the action of the main verb: 'The students may check books out for two weeks'.
root possibility: it is possible for the agent to carry out the action of the main verb; i.e. s/he is able and external conditions allow it: 'You can get that kind of paper at Ulbrich's'.
intention: the agent intends to carry out the action of the main verb: 'Sam's gonna take Sanskrit next semester'.
gonna, going to, intend to,
andative: agent moves away from the deictic center in order to do something, literally 'be going to do something'. Of course such forms are often related to the verb 'to go' and also may have uses of intention and future.
venitive: the agent moves toward the deictic center in order to do something, literally 'be coming to do something'. This may be related to the verb 'to come' and may have future uses as well.