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Epistemic Indefinites – Exploring Modality Beyond the Verbal Domain - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Epistemic Indefinites: Exploring Modality Beyond the Verbal Domain

Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito


Within formal semantics, research on the expression of modality in natural language has traditionally focused on verbs. This book brings together novel work on the semantics and pragmatics of some nominal expressions that also convey modality. The book focuses on indefinites that can convey ignorance on the part of the speaker with respect to which individual satisfies the existential claim that they make. Despite the fact that epistemic indefinites have attracted some attention in the recent semantics literature, we still do not have a good understanding of the phenomenon: there is currently ... More

Keywords: formal semantics, formal pragmatics, cross-linguistic semantics, modality, epistemic indefinites, modal free relatives, modified numerals, epistemic modals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199665297
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665297.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Luis Alonso-Ovalle, editor
Associate Professor of Linguistics, McGill University

Paula Menéndez-Benito, editor
Marie Curie Fellow, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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1 Epistemic indefinites: An overview

Luis Alonso-Ovalle and Paula Menéndez-Benito

Part I Extending the Empirical Landscape

2 Where do Chinese wh-items fit?

Gennaro Chierchia and Hsiu-Chen Daphne Liao

Part II Sources of Evidence, Epistemic Indefinites, and Epistemic Modals

Part III Specificity

8 Grading and hedging by gewiss

Stefan Hinterwimmer and Carla Umbach

Part IV Other Modal DPS

End Matter