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Mood, Aspect, Modality RevisitedNew Answers to Old Questions$
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Joanna Blaszczak, Anastasia Giannakidou, Dorota Klimek-Jankowska, and Krzysztof Migdalski

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226363523

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226363660.001.0001

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Modals: Meaning Categories?

Modals: Meaning Categories?

(p.45) Chapter Two Modals: Meaning Categories?
Mood, Aspect, Modality Revisited

Valentine Hacquard

University of Chicago Press

This chapter starts with the observation that the words used to express root and epistemic modality in many different languages systematically differ in their interactions with tense and aspect. Epistemic modals tend to scope above, but root modals below tense and aspect. Only root modals (with perfective aspect) trigger actuality entailment. Hacquard reveals patterns of interaction of modals and aspect, and argues that they are not a consequence of their different meaning, but result from scopal interactions of tense and aspect. There are three possible events that a modal can be anchored to: (i) the modal is anchored to the VP event when it appears in the low position and is bound by the aspect phrase, (ii) the modal is anchored to the speech event when it is realized high in the matrix clause (above tense phrase), or (iii) the modal is anchored to an attitude event when it appears in the high position of a clause embedded under an attitude verb. There is also a new observation that the pattern of interaction between modals and tense/aspect is restricted to grammatical root and epistemic modal words, and does not generalize to equivalent lexical root and epistemic modal words.

Keywords:   epistemic modal, tense, aspect, root meaning, grammatical modal

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