Modal interpretation of tense in subjunctive conditionals

John Mackay

Abstract


The paper gives an account of the meaning of subjunctive conditionals according to which the past tense receives a modal interpretation. The view allows the worlds of the antecedent to include the world of the context of utterance, and thus it avoids a problem pointed out by Mackay (2015) for previous modal views of the past tense in subjunctive conditionals. I argue that it also explains a variety of facts about the relationship among subjunctive morphology, counterfactuality, and presupposition.

EARLY ACCESS

Keywords


conditionals; counterfactuals; tense; subjunctive; past

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.12.2

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp