The Factuality Status of Chinese Necessity Modals
Exploring the Distribution Via Corpus-Based Approach
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: Deontic modality • Actuality entailment • Counterfactuality • Goal-oriented modality