Optatives: Deriving Desirability from Scalar Alternatives


  • María Biezma


A compositional analysis of optative sentences is challenging for atleast two reasons: they encode desirability without having any overt marker, and they are if-clauses with or without consequents, raising the question of whether they are actually conditionals. In this paper I argue that optatives are conditionals even when they do not have overt consequents. With respect to desirability, I argue that in optatives modality is pragmatically derived. The investigation of optatives sheds light on the interaction between syntax, pragmatics and discourse.


How to Cite

Biezma, M. (2019). Optatives: Deriving Desirability from Scalar Alternatives. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 117–132. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/367