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<i>Mora da</i> as a marker of modal meanings in Macedonian

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Abstract

The article presents a semasiological case study of the Macedonian modal <i>mora</i>, which derives from the common South Slavic modal verb <i>morati</i> &#8216;must&#8217;, and its collocation with the morpheme <i>da</i>, which is the probably most prominent non-factivity marker of Macedonian used in a broad variety of syntactic functions: as a complementiser, as a main clause marker in &#8220;insubordination&#8221; phenomena (with hortative and optative functions) as well as a morpheme connecting auxiliary and lexical verb in complex predicates. The latter function forms the starting point for the investigation: the author raises the question whether <i>mora</i> and <i>da</i> should not (in many cases) be analysed as one single unit (in functional and lexicographic terms). <i>Mora</i> can be regarded as a full-fledged modal auxiliary, but it tends to lose its inflectional properties (first, person and number, then tense), so that <i>mora</i> becomes petrified as a form isolated from its paradigm and homonymous with the prs.3sg-form of the inflected verb. Furthermore, it needs to be somehow connected to a finite verb and can cooccur only with <i>da</i>. This distribution, in connection with the successive loss of inflectional categories, conditions a transient stage whereby <i>mora&#43;da</i> appear to become a sentence adverb (or particle) with propositional scope (univerbation toward a function word). Together with this, the split between inflected and uninflected <i>mora</i> correlates with a strong tendency to distinguish deontic (with inflected <i>mora</i>) vs. epistemic (with uninflected <i>mora</i>) readings (dynamic readings have largely been ignored). As concerns this distinction, the feature [&#177; inflected] proves more decisive than the choice of pfv. vs. ipfv. aspect for the lexical verb (being under scope of <i>mora da</i>). Moreover, the only grammatical context for which <i>mora da</i> &#43; Vfin shows a systematic preference for deontic readings, is the pfv. present. All other contexts (and given <i>mora</i> is uninflected) rather favour epistemic readings, and for pfv. present tense (under scope of <i>mora</i>) the deontic reading can be overridden by some other factors. The article divides into two main parts: in the first, the author provides a systematic analysis of <i>mora </i>(<i>da</i>) in virtually all grammatical contexts imaginable for the occurrence of <i>mora </i>(<i>da</i>) in monoclausal structures (Section 2). In the second part (Section 3), the author takes issue with the question whether <i>mora&#43;da</i> should not be treated as one linguistic unit, namely a propositional operator marking epistemic necessity (= &#8216;strong epistemic support&#8217;, in terms of Boye 2012).

References

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