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A unified analysis of the future as epistemic modality the view from Greek and Italian

Abstract : We offer an analysis of the Greek and Italian future morphemes as epistemic modal operators. The main empirical motivation comes from the fact that future morphemes have systematic purely epistemic readings-not only in Greek and Italian, but also in Dutch, German, and En-glish will. The existence of epistemic readings suggests that the future expressions quantify over epistemic, not metaphysical alternatives. We provide a unified analysis for epistemic and predic-tive readings as epistemic necessity, and the shift between the two is determined compositionally by the lower tense. Our account thus acknowledges a systematic interaction between modality and tense-but the future itself is a pure modal, not a mixed temporal/modal operator. We show that the modal base of the future is nonveridical, i.e. it includes p and ¬p worlds, parallel to epistemic modals such as must, and present arguments that future morphemes have much in common with epistemic modals and predicates of personal taste. We identify, finally, a subclass of epistemic futures which are ratificational, and argue that will is a member of this class.
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Contributor : Alda Mari <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 26, 2019 - 4:58:13 AM
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Anastasia Giannakidou, Alda Mari. A unified analysis of the future as epistemic modality the view from Greek and Italian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Springer Verlag, 2018, 36 (1), pp.85-129. ⟨10.1007/s11049-017-9366-z⟩. ⟨ijn_02194772⟩



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