Covert Modality in Non-finite Contexts

Author: Rajesh Bhatt

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110197341

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 212

View: 519

This book investigates the distribution and interpretation of Covert Modality. Covert Modality is modality which we interpret but which is not associated with any lexical item in the structure that we are interpreting. This dissertation investigates a class of environments that involves covert modality. Examples of covert modality include wh-infinitival complements, infinitival relative clauses, purpose clauses, the 'have to' construction, and the 'is to' construction (cf. 1): 1a. Tim knows [how to solve the problem]. ("Tim knows how one/he could/should solve the problem.") 1b. Jane found [a book to draw cartoons in] for Sara. ("Jane found a book for Sara one could/should draw cartoons in.") 1c. [The man to fix the sink] is here. ("The man whose purpose is to fix the sink is here.") 1d. Sue went to Torino [to buy a violin]. ("Sue went to Torino so that she could buy a violin.") 1e. Bill has to reach Philadelphia before noon. ("Bill must reach Philadelphia before noon.") 1f. Will is to leave tomorrow. ("Will is scheduled/supposed to leave tomorrow.") The interpretation of (1a-f) involves modality; however, there is no lexical item that seems to be the source of the modality. What (1a-f) have in common is that they involve infinitivals. This book addresses the following questions about covert modality: what is the source of this modality, what are its semantic properties, why are some but not all infinitival relatives modal, and why are all infinitival questions modal? The infinitival [+wh] Complementizer is identified as the source of the covert modality. The apparent variability of the force of this modality is related to the particular semantics of this Complementizer. Infinitival relatives that receive a non-modal interpretation are analyzed as being reduced relatives and thus not involving the infinitival [+wh] Complementizer.
Modes of Modality

Author: Elisabeth Leiss

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company

ISBN: 9789027270795

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 511

View: 641

The volume aims at a universal definition of modality or “illocutionary/speaker’s perspective force” that is strong enough to capture the entire range of different subtypes and varieties of modalities in different languages. The central idea is that modality is all-pervasive in language. This perspective on modality allows for the integration of covert modality as well as peripheral instances of modality in neglected domains such as the modality of insufficieny, of attitudinality, or neglected domains such as modality and illocutionary force in finite vs. nonfinite and factive vs. non-factive subordinated clauses. In most languages, modality encompasses modal verbs both in their root and epistemic meanings, at least where these languages have the principled distribution between root and epistemic modality in the first place (which is one fundamentally restricted, in its strict qualitative and quantitative sense, to the Germanic languages). In addition, this volume discusses one other intricate and partially highly mysterious class of modality triggers: modal particles as they are sported in the Germanic languages (except for English). It is argued in the contributions and the languages discussed in this volume how modal verbs and adverbials, next to modal particles, are expressed, how they are interlinked with contextual factors such as aspect, definiteness, person, verbal factivity, and assertivity as opposed to other attitudinal types. An essential concept used and argued for is perspectivization (a sub-concept of possible world semantics). Language groups covered in detail and compared are Slavic, Germanic, and South East Asian. The volume will interest researchers in theoretical and applied linguistics, typology, the semantics/pragmatics interface, and language philosophy as it is part of a larger project developing an alternative approach to Universal Grammar that is compatible with functionalist approaches.
Covert Patterns of Modality

Author: Werner Abraham

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 9781443842914

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 450

View: 310

This typological overview compares the degree to which different languages have means to give expression to modality (possibility, necessity) without lexical and direct inflectional means. The criterial patterns derive from a variety of languages such as German, English, Chinese, French, Scandinavian, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Polish, and Gothic as well as Old High German. They encompass mainly the auxiliaries HAVE and BE, together with either an infinitival embedding of a full verb linked by the infinitival preposition TO, or other aspectual means. It is demonstrated that what appears as typical covert modal expressions in the Germanic languages, and the Indo-European ones in a wider sense, cannot be seen as a recurrent pattern in non-Indo-European languages. Yet, there are recurrent and plausible forms that allow for generalizations.
Modality and Theory of Mind Elements across Languages

Author: Werner Abraham

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 9783110271072

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 470

View: 975

Modality is the way a speaker modifies her declaratives and other speech acts to optimally assess the common ground of knowledge and belief of the addressee with the aim to optimally achieve understanding and an assessment of relevant information exchange. In languages such as German (and other Germanic languages outside of English), this may happen in covert terms. Main categories used for this purpose are modal adverbials ("modal particles") and modal verbs. Epistemic uses of modal verbs (like German sollen) cover evidential (reportative) information simultaneously providing the source of the information. Methodologically, description and explanation rest on Karl Bühler's concept of Origo as well as Roman Jakobson's concept of shifter. Typologically, East Asian languages such as Japanese pursue these semasiological fundaments far more closely than the European languages. In particular, Japanese has to mark the source of a statement in the declarative mode such that the reliability may be assessed by the hearer. The contributions in this collection provide insight into these modal techniques.
Modality and Propositional Attitudes

Author: Michael Hegarty

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781316467787

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines


View: 602

This book shows that the semantic analysis of modal notions of possibility and necessity can be used to enhance our understanding of the interpretation of reports of belief or emotional state. It introduces intuitive notation and terminology to express ideas in modern theories of modal interpretation that are normally represented in complex logical formulas, effectively updates the 1960s-era link between possible worlds and the semantics of propositional attitude ascriptions, and reconciles two disparate views of the role of events in semantic interpretation, that of Donald Davidson and that of David Lewis. It reduces a host of variable behaviors of propositional attitude ascription to an intuitive and precise distinction between ascriptions that merely express a commitment to propositional content versus ones that attribute a mental state to the holder of the propositional attitude. This leads to an explanation of the nature and effects of the language disorder of fluent aphasia.
The Architecture of Context and Context-Sensitivity

Author: Tadeusz Ciecierski

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 9783030344856

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 319

View: 394

This volume addresses foundational issues of context-dependence and indexicality, which are at the center of the current debate within the philosophy of language. Topics include the scope of context-dependency, the nature of content and the character of input data of cognitive processes relevant for the interpretation of utterances. There's also coverage of the role of beliefs and intentions as contextual factors, as well as the validity of arguments in context-sensitive languages. The contributions consider foundational issues regarding context-sensitivity from three different, yet related, perspectives on the phenomenon of context-dependence: representational, structural, and functional. The contributors not only address the representational, structural and/or functional problems separately but also study their mutual connections, thus furthering the debate and bringing competing approaches closer to unification and consensus. This text appeals to students and researchers within the field. This is a very useful collection of essays devoted to the roles of context in the study of language. Its essays provide a useful overview of the current debates on this topic, and they put forth novel contributions that will undoubtedly be of relevance for the development of all areas in philosophy and linguistics interested in the notion of context. Stefano Predelli Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Edges, Heads, and Projections

Author: Anne-Marie Di Sciullo

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN: 9789027255396

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 279

View: 660

This collection deals with central issues in the syntax of clauses and their interfaces with the conceptual-intentional system. The book targets the syntactic properties that have an impact on the interpretation of discourse and temporal dependencies, functional fields including CP, pragmatic markers at the syntax-pragmatic interface, and on the possible parameterization of these properties. The papers in this volume bring to the fore the role of the edges (specifier and adjuncts), heads and projections in the grammar and at the interfaces. They address the question to what extent the relevant configurations at the level of edges, head, and projections determine the syntax/semantic, semantic/pragmatic connections. The contributions clarify the notion of edge and bring evidence that this notion is core to the analysis of various phenomena at the left periphery of clauses and phrases. This volume also discusses functional heads and their projections, particularly insofar as the properties of these heads determine the composition of the CP field, and cases where a CP may or may not be projected.
Verb Movement and Clause Structure in Old Romanian

Author: Virginia Hill

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198736509

Category: Foreign Language Study

Page: 351

View: 839

The book provides a formal analysis of root and complement clauses in Old Romanian, focussing on the combination of Balkan syntactic patterns and Romance morphology. It presents a new perspective on the manifestation of Balkan Sprachbund properties in the language, and on the nature of parametric differences in relation to other Romance languages.
The Oxford Handbook of Modality and Mood

Author: Jan Nuyts

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780191646348

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 640

View: 412

This handbook offers an in depth and comprehensive state of the art survey of the linguistic domains of modality and mood. An international team of experts in the field examine the full range of methodological and theoretical approaches to the many facets of the phenomena involved. Following an opening section that provides an introduction and historical background to the topic, the volume is divided into five parts. Parts 1 and 2 present the basic linguistic facts about the systems of modality and mood in the languages of the world, covering the semantics and the expression of different subtypes of modality and mood respectively. The authors also examine the interaction of modality and mood, mutually and with other semantic categories such as aspect, time, negation, and evidentiality. In Part 3, authors discuss the features of the modality and mood systems in five typologically different language groups, while chapters in Part 4 deal with wider perspectives on modality and mood: diachrony, areality, first language acquisition, and sign language. Finally, Part 5 looks at how modality and mood are handled in different theoretical approaches: formal syntax, functional linguistics, cognitive linguistics and construction grammar, and formal semantics.
Epistemic Modality

Author: Andy Egan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199591596

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 342

View: 837

There's a lot we don't know, which means that there are a lot of possibilities that are, epistemically speaking, open. What these epistemic possibilities are, and how we understand the semantics of epistemic modals, are explored here through a variety of philosophical approaches.
A Reference Grammar of Romanian

Author: Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN: 9789027271358

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 900

View: 146

Based on recent research in formal linguistics, this volume provides a thorough description of the whole system of Romanian Noun Phrases, understood in an extended sense, that is, in addition to nouns, pronouns and determiners, it examines all the adnominal phrases: genitive-marked DPs, adjectives, relative clauses, appositions, prepositional phrases, complement clauses and non-finite modifiers. The book focuses on syntax and the syntax-semantics interface but also includes a systematic morphological description of the language. The implicitly comparative description of Romanian contained in the book can serve as a starting point for the study of the syntax/semantics of Noun Phrases in other languages, regardless of whether or not they are typologically related to Romanian. This book will be of special interest to linguists working on Romanian, Romance languages, comparative linguistics and language typology, especially because Romanian is relevant for comparative linguistics not only as a Romance language, but also as part of the so-called Balkan Sprachbund.
Non-canonical Control in a Cross-linguistic Perspective

Author: Anne Mucha

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company

ISBN: 9789027259585

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 298

View: 476

Control, typically defined as a specific referential dependency between the null-subject of a non-finite embedded clause and a co-dependent of the matrix predicate, has been subject to extensive research in the last 50 years. While there is a broad consensus that a distinction between Obligatory Control (OC), Non-Obligatory Control (NOC) and No Control (NC) is useful and necessary to cover the range of relevant empirical phenomena, there is still less agreement regarding their proper analyses. In light of this ongoing discussion, the articles collected in this volume provide a cross-linguistic perspective on central questions in the study of control, with a focus on non-canonical control phenomena. This includes cases which show NOC or NC in complement clauses or OC in adjunct clauses, cases in which the controlled subject is not in an infinitival clause, or in which there is no unique controller in OC (i.e. partial control, split control, or other types of controllers). Based on empirical generalizations from a wide range of languages, this volume provides insights into cross-linguistic variation in the interplay of different components of control such as the properties of the constituent hosting the controlled subject, the syntactic and lexical properties of the matrix predicate as well as restrictions on the controller, thereby furthering our empirical and theoretical understanding of control in grammar.