Hypothetical modality : grammaticalisation in an L2 dialect by Debra Ziegeler

By Debra Ziegeler

This ebook marks a brand new improvement within the box of grammaticalisation stories, in that it extends the sphere of grammaticalisation reports from particularly homogeneous languages to these owning well-established and institutionalised moment language kinds. In Hypothetical Modality, exact reference is made to Singaporean English, a native-speaker L2 dialect of substantial value within the South-East Asian Read more...

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The contrastive stress discussed by Horn (1984), as well as the expression of an explicit cancellation in an adversative clause, contributes to the conversion of a Q2 implicature of the prediction of the complement proposition (‘she solved the problem’) to become a Q1 implicature of negative prediction (‘she didn’t solve it’). The expression of past ability is then restricted quantificationally either by prosodic variation or by the introduction of a clause expressing contrast. The example of a semi-modalised expression serves as an illustration of the way in which Quantity implicatures may operate with modal expressions: the modal element acts as a quantifier over the potential realisation of its complement, and provides the grounds for predictive extensions of meaning.

20) (S) |- q | |- would (have) (q) | | (W) |- if p, would (have) (q) In (20) the modal (+have) is considered to be a quantifier over the factuality of the bare proposition q, while the protasis condition may act as a quantifier over the prediction of q marked in the apodosis by a modal. According to scales of this nature (Horn 1984: 21), W (the weaker element, situated lower on the scale) (if p, q) Q1 implicates the negative of the stronger element (S), here, the proposition of q (whatever the condition).

HYPOTHETICAL MODALITY AS A GRAMMATICAL CATEGORY 25 of predictions, but when predictions are made about the past, they are assumed to be made on a reliable information basis. A hypothetical conditional about the past such as (9), then, is less likely to be interpreted as non-counterfactual out of context. It is for this reason that a cancellation, such as in (9), is needed to reveal weaker, (non-counterfactual) implicatures. It might be argued at this stage that a form does exist in English for distinguishing past hypotheses of unknown truth value from those about which the facts are already known, and this conditional uses the past indicative in both clauses.

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