On a type of counterfactual construction

image of On a type of counterfactual construction

This paper analyzes a Hungarian modal construction with a counterfactual, reproaching reading. Hungarian optative, imperative and reproaching sentences involve a MoodP below their topic projection. Their Mood head is merged with a projection having a matching modal feature: a NonNeutP with a conditional or imperative verb raised to NonNeut, or a NegP having a negative particle with a modal feature (ne) in Neg. The affirmative version of this structure is similar to that of Class I languages of Rivero and Terzi (1995), involving verb movement – except that the landing site of the verb is lower than C. Since V-movement cannot cross NegP, the negative particle assumes a modal feature, whereby it satisfies the requirement of Mood being adjacent to a modal head. Hungarian also has an optative and imperative pattern typical of Class II languages, involving a mood marker in Spec,CP.

  • Affiliations: 1: Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Pázmàny Péter Catholic University



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