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TimeLanguage, Cognition, and Reality$
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Kasia M. Jaszczolt and Louis de Saussure

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589876.001.0001

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Semantic and pragmatic aspects of the interaction of time and modality in French: An interval-based account

Semantic and pragmatic aspects of the interaction of time and modality in French: An interval-based account

Chapter:
(p.98) 5 Semantic and pragmatic aspects of the interaction of time and modality in French: An interval-based account
Source:
Time
Author(s):

Laurent Gosselin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589876.003.0006

Predictions are speech acts that require a future eventuality as propositional content and presuppose indirect evidence at the speaker’s disposal. Future eventualities impose epistemological constraints on the admissible evidence by excluding not only direct observation but also inferences from results and by changing the evidential role of reports from testimonies to reports of intentions/plans/schedules. The chapter investigates the behaviour of Italian modals potere (‘can’) and dovere (‘must’) in predictions in a journalistic corpus of financial news showing that while epistemic-evidential uses proper are excluded with future eventualities, specific deontic and alethic uses can function as indirect manifestations of the type of evidence on which the prediction is based, distinguishing the predictions based on causal reasoning from those based on rules/plans/schedules. The conditional form of dovere is used to convey predictions, based either on causal reasoning or on plans, explicitly relativized to default assumptions of inertia or of commitment upholding.

Keywords:   tense, aspectual viewpoint, semantic modalities, aspectual periphrases, irrevocable, possible, phasal aspect

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