Article published in:Modes of Modality: Modality, typology, and universal grammar
Edited by Elisabeth Leiss and Werner Abraham
[Studies in Language Companion Series 149] 2014
► pp. 19–42
Interpreting modals by phase heads
This paper proposes that modal meanings are interpreted by modal features on phase heads (cf. Chomsky 2000, 2001). Epistemic modal auxiliaries are base-generated above v*P/vP, and they are in an Agree relation with a phase head C, which then carries an interpretable modal feature to be transferred to the semantic component. Root modals are base-generated under v*P and Agree with a phase head v*. In the syntax-semantics interface, modality is defined as information about possibility or necessity of proposition denoted by syntactic objects transferred to the semantic component, assigned by phase heads, which bear a discourse related property of the duality of semantics.
Published online: 24 January 2014
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