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<i> v</i>*P/<i>v</i>P, 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 <i>v</i>*P and Agree with a phase head<i> v</i>*. 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.