Modal semantics and morphosyntax of the Latvian DEBITIVE

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The paper discusses the Latvian debitive from the viewpoint of modality and syntactic structure. In typological linguistics the system of moods in Latvian and in particular the Latvian debitive as a unique linguistic form has been rarely described. The debitive is a mood expressing meaning of necessity or obligation in Latvian. Therefore the introductory part of the paper offers a brief description of the mood system in Latvian explaining the functions of the debitive, its morphosyntax, and its modal semantics. The paper does not discuss exhaustively all the properties of the debitive and thus should be viewed as an initial discussion of this under-investigated subject matter. It proposes an overview of the forms of the debitive as well as a description of its modal meanings and distribution. Further research should involve a more detailed description of modal meanings as well as the distribution of the debitive and its seeming likeness to impersonal and passive constructions.


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