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Interpreting modals by phase heads

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Abstract

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>&#42;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>&#42;P and Agree with a phase head<i> v</i>&#42;. 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.

References

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