A Historical Investigation into Persian Modal Auxiliaries


Modal verbs are typically used in expressing conditional situations and events. This research aims at investigating into the history of modal verbs in Persian from Old to Modern period. Based on the written data related to Old Persian, this language lacks any modal verb. In this period of Persian, conditional events and situations are expressed by other means, including certain verb moods and adverbs. In uncertain periods of Middle Persian four main verbs related to Old Persian had been implemented in new capacities, known as modal verbs, to express modalized events and situations. In Modern Persian, only two of the four Middle Persian modal verbs, namely, tavǎnestan and bǎyestan, plus a new modal verb called šodan are used in expressing different kinds and degrees of modality. However, it was revealed that the range of meanings expressed by Modern Persian modals is not as diverse as those used in Middle Persian.

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Rahimian, J. , Najari, H. and Hesarpuladi, S. (2015) A Historical Investigation into Persian Modal Auxiliaries. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 389-398. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.54035.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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