Abstract

Abstract:

A compositional analysis is provided of temporal perspective and orientation (Condoravdi 2002) of modals in Dutch, English, Gitksan (Tsimshianic), and St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish). Modals interact freely with the tense-aspect architecture in each language. Temporal perspective is determined by an operator scoping over the modal, usually tense, while temporal orientation is determined by aspectual operators below it (and further restricted by the diversity condition). In contrast to much of the literature, it is argued that epistemic modals can scope under past tense. Modal-temporal interactions behave in predictable ways in Dutch, Gitksan, and St’át’imcets, whereas the English system is more idiosyncratic and partly lexicalized.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 281-331
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-16
Open Access
No
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