Modal Verbs in Germanic and Romance Languages
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Abstract. In this paper the formal semantics of Spanish directive verbs, especially permissive deontic verbs, is studied. A dynamic perspective is adopted in which the meaning of an expression is not its truth conditions but its discourse update potential. The paper focuses on the following aspects of directive permission verbs: the analysis of their basic meaning in contrast with other modals; aspectual and temporal restrictions on the complements of permission verbs; restrictions on the subject of permission verbs; combinations of modals; and conjunction and disjunction of permission statements. A unified account is presented in a dynamic modal framework. An action is conceived of as a program expression denoting a set of sequences of states. Each sequence represents an execution of the action.Modal (directive) verbs are treated as operators introducing universal or existential quantification over sequences of states.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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