Facts and Ideals: On the Role of 'doch' in conditionals and Optatives


  • Patrick Grosz


This paper addresses optative constructions, constructions that express a wish or desire without a modal that means ‘wish’ or ‘want’. Focusing on German, I argue that “expressing a wish” is a possible use of a conditional antecedent that is freely available. The question is how certain elements, such as the contrastive particle doch (or the focus particle nur ‘only’), which are typical for optative constructions, interact with this wish. I argue that they interact with the wish indirectly; they have a meaning that is independent from optativity, but which can be used to bring out an already available wish reading. This is achieved by eliminating alternative readings. Discussing German doch as a case study, I show how this interaction can be made precise.


How to Cite

Grosz, P. (2019). Facts and Ideals: On the Role of ’doch’ in conditionals and Optatives. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 275–290. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/377