A square of necessities X-marking weak and strong necessity modals

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Marcelo Ferreira

Abstract

Many languages express the modal concept known as weak necessity by adding a conventional marking to their strong necessity modals (von Fintel & Iatridou 2008). This extra marking has been dubbed X-marking in von Fintel & Iatridou 2023 who have also shown that it is the same marking that often appears on so-called subjunctive (counterfactual) conditionals as well as on attitude verbs expressing unattainable desires. We discuss Portuguese weak and strong necessity modals (dever and ter que) and claim that both can be X-marked, although no weakening in their modal force is attested. We conclude that necessity modals can host a parametrized version of X-marking affecting their modal parameters (modal bases and ordering sources) and generating a square of semantically related necessities.


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