Article published in:Formal Studies in Slovenian Syntax: In honor of Janez Orešnik
Edited by Franc Lanko Marušič and Rok Žaucer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 236] 2016
► pp. 253–282
The Slovenian future auxiliary biti as a tenseless gradable evidential modal
Inferential and concessive readings
Adopting a general perspective inspired by formal semantics -most prominently Kratzer’s ideas on modals-, this paper argues that the Slovenian future auxiliary biti may function as an epistemic modal with evidential characteristics. In its epistemic capacity, biti is a Zero-tense/tenseless modal anchored to Speech Time. In other words, it signals a deduction/concession made at Speech Time, or displays a so-called present ‘Temporal Perspective’. Biti does not define the time or ‘Temporal Orientation’ of the depicted event, which is defined by Viewpoint Aspect. Biti may depict present, past, future, or habitual events when it combines with Imperfective (IMPF) Viewpoint Aspect. When combined with Perfective (PERF) Viewpoint Aspect, biti necessarily depicts future events/ acquires a future ‘Temporal Orientation’. Biti is a gradable modal connected to either a scale of believability or a scale of desirability, both anchored in the speaker.
Published online: 08 December 2016
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