Epistemic Modals: High ma non troppo
Vincent Homer
March 2010
 

I argue that epistemic modals in French are neither generated nor interpreted above Tense. I establish that cases of modal evaluation in the past cannot be dismissed as spurious effects (e.g. of free indirect discourse). And I show that scope paradoxes arise if epistemic modals are to be interpreted syntactically higher than T. A crucial piece in this argument is the establishment of a novel fact, i.e. that the root modal 'devoir' (and 'must' in English) is a positive polarity item.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001086
(please use that when you cite this article, unless you want to cite the full url: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/001086)
Published in: To appear in the Proceedings of NELS 40
keywords: epistemic modals, root modals, negation, tense, polarity, ppi, syntax, semantics
Downloaded:94 times

 

[ edit this article | back to article list ]