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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

The Essence of a Category: Lessons from the Subjunctive

The Essence of a Category: Lessons from the Subjunctive

(p.218) Chapter Six The Essence of a Category: Lessons from the Subjunctive
Mood, Aspect, Modality Revisited

Martina Wiltschko

University of Chicago Press

This chapter emphasizes the diversity in the licensing environments of the subjunctive and concludes that the subjunctive is not a natural class in terms of one modality, or one type of subjunctive crosslinguistically. The author argues that it is not possible to define the subjunctive as a category on the basis of a predictable, uniform interpretation or form. Wiltschko points out that the fact that the subjunctive is not a universally uniform category indicates that it might be more promising to a develop a formal typology for categories that is not based on their substantive content or traditional categorical distinctions. In the case of subjunctive, Wiltschko suggests that what unifies the subjunctive across languages is that they contrast with the independent assertive clause-type represented by the [+coin] (coincidence) feature. This feature may be valued through different strategies across languages.

Keywords:   subjunctive, defective tense, Blackfoot, Halkomelem, Upper Austrian German, tense morphology, coincidence, Algonquian, Salish

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