Article published in:Syntactic Variation and Change
Edited by David Håkansson, Ida Larsson and Erik Magnusson Petzell
[Linguistic Variation 17:1] 2017
► pp. 68–97
The rise of contrastive modality in English
A neoparametric account
This paper proposes an account of the morphosyntactic and semantic changes involved in the historical development of the English modals as a distinct category. Adopting a neoparametric approach, in which a language’s inventory of grammatical features may change over time, we show that a cluster of related surface changes can be accounted for by positing that the feature modality was added to English tense/mood system. While the most immediate manifestation of this change was the grammaticalization of the modals themselves, this in turn altered the system of contrasts in the language: in clauses without modal verbs, the absence of the modal became contrastive, narrowing the range of possible interpretations.
Keywords: modals, syntactic change, features, parameters, English, functional categories, tense, modality
Published online: 29 June 2017
1988 Underspecification in phonology. Phonology 5(2). 183–207.
Avery, J. Peter & Keren Rice
Biberauer, Theresa & Ian Roberts
Bjorkman, Bronwyn & Elizabeth Cowper
2013 Inflectional shells and the syntax of causative have . In Shan Luo (ed.), Proceedings of the 2013 annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Toronto: Canadian Linguistic Association. Published online at http://cla-acl.ca/?p=917.
Bobaljik, Jonathan & Höskuldur Thráinsson
Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins & William Pagliuca
Cinque, Guglielmo & Luigi Rizzi
Coon, Jessica & Alan Bale[ p. 94 ]
Cowper, Elizabeth & Daniel Currie Hall
2007 The morphosyntactic manifestations of modality. In Milica Radišić (ed.), Proceedings of the 2007 annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Toronto: Canadian Linguistic Association. Published online at http://cla-acl.ca/?p=312.
Cowper, Elizabeth, Daniel Currie Hall, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Rebecca Tollan & Neil Banerjee
2015 Investigating the past of the futurate present. Paper presented at DiGS 17, University of Iceland, Reykjavik.
Cutrer, L. Michelle
Dresher, B. Elan
Fischer, Olga, Ans van Kemenade, Willem Koopman & Wim van der Wurff
van Gelderen, Elly
Giorgi, Allessandra & Fabio Pianesi
[ p. 95 ]
Harbour, Daniel & Christian Elsholtz
Holmberg, Anders & Christer Platzack
Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey K. Pullum
van Kemenade, Ans
Kroch, Anthony S.
Leech, Geoffrey, Marianne Hundt, Christian Mair & Nicholas Smith
Manuel, Sharon Y.
Pollock, Jean-Yves[ p. 96 ]
Ramchand, Gillian & Peter Svenonius
Ritter, Elizabeth & Martina Wiltschko
Roberts, Ian & Anna Roussou
Ščur, G. S.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. & Alexandra D’Arcy
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs
Visser, Fredericus Theodorus
Warner, Anthony[ p. 97 ]
Cited by 1 other publications
Cowper, Elizabeth, Bronwyn Bjorkman, Daniel Currie Hall, Rebecca Tollan & Neil Banerjee
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 august 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.