2011 年 16 巻 p. 45-53
This study deals with a certain important aspect of the meanings and the usages of be bound to using extensive data from English movies, in addition to providing a general description of how the semi-modal has been dealt with in previous studies. It is generally assumed that the pheriphrastic form is synonymous with must or the former has a stronger meaning than the latter. These claims, however, do not reflect its actual usage: the quasi-modal is primarily used to show inevitability. To verify this, this study points out that the deontic meaning of be bound to is derived from and related to the passive of the verb bind. The historical perspective provides us a deeper understanding of the semi-modal. This paper also argues that be bound to tend to carry with it negative connotations using the English movie caption database, which contains 801 million words from 978 English films. In the data, cases are identified where be bound to appears with (1) happen, (2) verbs with negative nuances like fail. In the case of happen it should be noted that when used with be bound to the term almost always acquire contextually negative connotations.