Determine whether the following sentences with modal expressions, in normal readings, have deontic or epistemic meaning or are ambiguous:
I must be getting sick.
You may be pregnant.
Nitric acid will dissolve zinc.
John must leave now.
He can miss the class.
You could clean your room.
He must have passed the examination.
You might have fallen,
Cocktail parties can be boring.
She could be discouraged.
I will marry her.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
You can’t be serious.
Harris has to retire next year.
He might try a bit harder to pass the course.
She can be very obstinate.
Guests may not use their cellular phones in the restaurant.
Only experts can advance to the next stage of the competition.
She must be careful with her money.
Grant is in New York now, I guess.
The movie shouldn’t be violent.
The revised paper could be better.
My uncle can wiggle his ears.
Identify and name the modal element in each of the following and say whether it is [+EPISTEMIC] or [+DEONTIC].
It's not likely that he will want to help.
There isn’t any necessity to tell her the results.
The event will have to be cancelled, I guess.
I insist that you are guilty.
|a.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is possible that I am getting sick.|
|b.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is possible that you are pregnant; I think you are.|
|c.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is certain that nitric acid dissolves zinc; I know it does.|
|d.||[+DEONTIC]||John is obliged to leave now; he has reasons to do so.|
|e.||[+DEONTIC]||He has permission to miss class or he is able to miss class.|
|f.||[+DEONTIC]||You are obliged to clean your room; I want you to do so.|
|g.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is likely that he did pass the examination.|
|It may also be possible to get a [+DEONTIC] reading here, namely, ‘It is necessary that he have passed the examination in order to graduate’. But it would be more common in this case to say He must pass the exam.)|
|h.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is possible that you could have fallen.|
|i.||[+EPISTEMIC]||Cocktail parties are likely to be boring.|
|j.||Ambiguous||We could do something to discourage her ([+DEONTIC]).|
|It is possible that she is discouraged ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|k.||[+DEONTIC]||I intend to marry her. (This is the strict reading. The sentence has a looser meaning of prediction, hence an epistemic reading.)|
|l.||[+DEONTIC]||It is your obligation to be ashamed of yourself.|
|m.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is not possible that you are being serious.|
|n.||[+DEONTIC]||Harris is obliged to retire.|
|o.||Ambiguous||It is possible that he will try harder ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|He is obliged to try harder (D).|
|p.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is possible for her to be very obstinate.|
|q.||[+DEONTIC]||Guests are not permitted to use their cellular phones.|
|r.||Ambiguous||Only experts have permission [+DEONTIC] or have the ability [+EPISTEMIC] to advance.|
|s.||Ambiguous||She is obliged to be careful with her money ([+DEONTIC])|
|From appearances, I deduce that she is careful ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|t.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is likely that Grant is in New York.|
|u.||Ambiguous||It is possible that the movie won’t be violent ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|I am requiring that the movie not be violent ([+DEONTIC]).|
|v.||[+EPISTEMIC]||It is possible that the revised paper will be better ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|I don’t thing that the revised paper is not as good as it should or could be ([+EPISTEMIC]).|
|w.||[+EPISTEMIC]||My uncle has the ability to wiggle his ears.|
modal adjective [+EPISTEMIC]
modal noun [+DEONTIC]
epistemic parenthetical [+EPISTEMIC]
modal verb [+EPISTEMIC]