Modal Concord
Hedde Zeijlstra
October 2007

Sentences containing two (or more) modal elements of the same modal type and quantificational force often yield a concord reading, where the semantics of the sentence seems to contain only one modal operator, rather than a cumulative reading. In this paper I have argued that Modal Concord is a grammatical phenomenon and that despite superficial differences, it shows close resemblance to the phenomenon of Negative Concord. I have argued that the approach by (Zeijlstra 2004), who takes Negative Concord to be an instance of syntactic agreement, naturally extends to Modal Concord, and I have provided an analysis for Modal Concord by arguing that modal elements carry a modal feature specified for quantificational force, which is either semantically interpretable or uninterpretable. Furthermore, I have proposed that modal auxiliaries are semantically vacuous in languages like English and Dutch and that they only signal the presence of an abstract modal operator of a particular quantificational force.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000494
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: SALT Proceedings
keywords: modal concord, modality, concord, negation, negative concord, auxiliaries, markers, agreement, semantics
previous versions: v1 [August 2007]
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