Retour vers liste

Détail de la contribution

Auteur: Anastasia GIANNAKIDOU

Co-Auteur(s): Mari, Alda

Future morphemes and epistemic modality: evidence from modal adverbs in Greek, Italian and English

Abstract/Résumé: In recent work, we have defended the thesis that future morphemes in a number of European languages associate with epistemic modal bases and therefore behave, to all intents and purposes, as epistemic modals (Giannakidou and Mari to appear a,b, 2013). When this happens, future morphemes, including English, receive non-future, non-predictive readings, akin to must. In this paper, we will enhance the epistemic modal analysis by considering the co-occurrence of future morphemes with modal adverbs of varying force such as as possibly, probably, definitely, etc. We note that these adverbs can be used with both ‘true’ future (predicative) uses (as in e.g. Maybe John will be here at 5)— as well as non-predictive (non-future) uses, such as That will probably be the mailman. All future variants are non veridical (Giannakidou 1998, 1999), i.e. epistemically weaker than their non-modalized positive assertions which are veridical. We argue that the adverbs measure the speaker's confidence that the actual world is among the best worlds (non-predictive use), or the most reasonable futures (true future use) quantified universally by the future modal. The variable force of the adverb (possibility, probability, necessity) reflects higher or lower confidence. This analysis allows a new understanding of the phenomenon of so-called modal concord. In both predictive and non-predictive uses, the adverb serves the function of revealing the role the speaker plays in making judgments about the actual world.