Actualistic interpretations in French

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Vincent Homer


Actuality Entailments (AEs), which are standardly described in relation to modal predicates, are known to only occur in the perfective. This article argues that modal predicates are stative and, for that reason, only compatible with the perfective if coerced. Being the reflex of an aspectual coercion, which I label ‘actualistic’, the AE phenomenon is broader than usually assumed: it obtains with modal and non-modal predicates alike. At the core of the actualistic coercion is a presupposition, in the form of a necessary and sufficient condition, whose effects can be detected, for example, under negation.

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