Modals, negation and movement: a reassessment
Paloma Jeretič, Gary Thoms
March 2023

This article addresses the question of how root necessity modals are able to take scope over negative operators. Previous work has argued that wide scope readings are derived by syntactic movement of the modal over negation. We argue against this view. Reviewing facts from a number of different languages, we show that the availability of wide scope readings is not conditioned by the clause structure in which the modal is embedded, and we show that deriving the wide scope readings in the full range of configurations where they are found requires a number of complications for the movement rules involved. We discuss other issues for deriving the correct interpretations for modals in various negative constructions, and we outline an recent in-situ account of the modal facts (Jeretič 2021a) which avoids the complications that beset the syntactic account.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007185
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa
keywords: head movement, modals, covert movement, negation, semantics, syntax
Downloaded:565 times


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