A self-contained monograph, it does not assume much familiarity on the reader's part with modal logic or any major theory of linguistic modality, so that those who have just started exploring modality will find the book very accessible and helpful. On the other hand, experts will find the book an excellent resource to turn to when they want to have a quick brush-up on one theory of modality or another. An authoritative figure on linguistic modality, Portner takes anunimposing position when presenting his own ideas (where applicable). Overall the book is a great pleasure to read.
Paul Portner is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. He studied philosophy and linguistics at Princeton University and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where his 1992 PhD dissertation was on Situation Theory and the Semantics of Propositional Expressions. He is editor of Formal Semantics: Essential Readings (Blackwell, 1992) and author of What is Meaning? (Blackwell, 2005). He is currently writing a book onMood, which like the present work will appear in Oxford Surveys in Semantics and Pragmatics.