On the logic of generalizations about cross-linguistic aspect-modality links

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In what follows the attempt is made, in all due brevity and succinctness, to gain more solid insight into links between aspect and modality as observed to hold in German and other West and North Germanic languages in Abraham (1990a, b, 2001, 2002, 2005). The basic idea (developed in more detail in the Introduction to this volume) is that there are such logical relations at the basis of the hypothesis, but that they are subject to markedness influences to the extent that the linking generalizations may be under demise in the context of a set of welldefined exceptions to the default links. The directions of the solutions under non-default contexts are those predictable by the A(spect)-T(ense)-M(odality) Hierarchy according to which, under specific markedness conditions, aspect form gives way to tense form, which in turn gives way to modal form if the default form is given up (Leiss 2000, 2002).


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