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The Factuality Status of Chinese Necessity Modals

Exploring the Distribution Via Corpus-Based Approach

Carlotta Sparvoli    Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italia    

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abstract

This paper is intended to test the deontic vs anankastic hypothesis outlined by Sparvoli 2012. The stipulation is that, in past contexts, deontic modals trigger a counterfactual inference, while anankastic modals (here called ‘goal-oriented modals’) either trigger an actuality entailment effects (‘only possibility’ modals) or a generic non-factual reading (‘mere necessity’ modals). The result of this corpus-based study conducted in a Chinese-English parallel corpus confirm the crucial role played by the deontic vs goal-oriented contrast in the marking of factuality in Chinese and shows that the factuality value decreases across a cline from goal-oriented to deontic modals.

keywords: Actuality entailment. Counterfactuality. Deontic modality. Goal-oriented modality.

Language: en

Submitted: March 4, 2020   Accepted: Oct. 14, 2020   Published: Dec. 21, 2020  
permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/978-88-6969-406-6/005

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