Modals as distributive indefinites

Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):317-357 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Modals in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) show two differences from their counterparts in English. First, they have variable quantificational force, systematically allowing both possibility and necessity interpretations; and second, they lexically restrict the conversational background, distinguishing for example between deontic and (several kinds of) epistemic modality. We provide an analysis of the St’át’imcets modals according to which they are akin to specific indefinites in the nominal domain. They introduce choice function variables which select a subset of the accessible worlds. Following Klinedinst, we assume distributivity over the resulting set of worlds. St’át’imcets modals thus receive a uniform interpretation as (distributive) pluralities. The appearance of variability in modal force arises because the choice function can select a larger or smaller subset of accessible worlds. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for the investigation of modal systems in other languages

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,322

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On The Interpretation of Wide-scope Indefinites.Lisa Matthewson - 1998 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (1):79-134.
Temporal semantics in a superficially tenseless language.Lisa Matthewson - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):673 - 713.
Modals without scales.Amy Rose Deal - 2011 - Language 87 (3):559-585.
Free choice, modals, and imperatives.Maria Aloni - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):65-94.
Imperatives and Modals.Paul Portner - 2007 - Natural Language Semantics 15 (4):351-383.
Expressivism concerning epistemic modals.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):601-615.
Fallibilism and the flexibility of epistemic modals.Charity Anderson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):597-606.
Evidentiality, modality and probability.Eric McCready & Norry Ogata - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (2):147 - 206.
Epistemic and Deontic Should.Fabrizio Cariani - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):73-84.
Diagnosing Modality in Predictive Expressions.Peter Klecha - 2014 - Journal of Semantics 31 (3):fft011.
Quantification and the Nature of Crosslinguistic Variation.Lisa Matthewson - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (2):145-189.
On the interaction of aspect and modal auxiliaries.Valentine Hacquard - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):279-315.
Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-12-01

Downloads
88 (#188,434)

6 months
13 (#181,228)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

On Necessity and Comparison.Aynat Rubinstein - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):512-554.
Bare conditionals in the red.Elena Herburger - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (2):131-175.
Temporal interpretation in Hausa.Anne Mucha - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):371-415.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Logic and Conversation.H. P. Grice - 1975 - In Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.), The Logic of Grammar. Encino, CA: pp. 64-75.
A Natural History of Negation.Laurence R. Horn - 1989 - University of Chicago Press.
On Quantifier Domain Restriction.Jason Stanley & Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2-3):219--61.
What 'must' and 'can' must and can mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
Restrictions on Quantifier Domains.Kai von Fintel - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

View all 23 references / Add more references