Constraints on the embeddability of epistemic modals


  • Michela Ippolito


In this paper I investigate occurrences of epistemic modals such as must and might embedded under three classes of attitude verbs: (i) doxastic and doxastic-like verbs like believe, (ii) desiderative verbs like want, and (iii) emotive doxastic and dubitative verbs like fear, hope and doubt. The first class allows both necessity and possibility epistemic modals; the second class allows neither necessity nor possibility epistemic modals; and finally, the third class allows possibility but not necessity epistemic modals. We begin our inquiry by reviewing Anand and Hacquard (2013)’s proposal. I present some challenges for the proposal and, in particular, for their proposal for class (iii). I show that the restrictions on embedded epistemic modals are similar to the restrictions on embedded V-to-C in German (Truckenbrodt (2006)) and argue that the two phenomena can be given similar explanations.


How to Cite

Ippolito, M. (2019). Constraints on the embeddability of epistemic modals. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 21(1), 605–622. Retrieved from