Chinese modality, deontic, anankastic, modal shifts
In this paper I propose a typological analysis of the modal shifts in the localization into Italian and Simplified Chinese of Microsoft operative system — based on 455 segments filtered out of 1291 records containing expressions of necessity. After analyzing the distribution of the deontic vs. anankastic (goal oriented) prominent markers and after classifying them into four textual classes, I highlight the tendency, in the English and Chinese texts, to resort to "emerging modals" (Taeymans 2006) such as need to and its Chinese equivalent xūyào. In the Italian target instead the equivalents of need to are distributed among one deontic prominent “core modal” (indicative of dovere) and two anankastic candidates (essere necessario, occorrere), with an incidence of 57%, 26% and 17%. This aspect — combined with the systematic omission of courtesy locutions — by expressing the "necessity of the system" as a "duty of the user", generates in these Italian directives a sort of deontic overcharge.