Optional and Obligatory Modal Subordination


  • Peter Klecha


This paper raises the empirical point that modal subordination is not always obligatory, and that moreover, this is a point of lexical variation. Some modals, like will, which I call definite modals, undergo modal subordination obligatorily, and some, like gonna, which I call nondefinite modals, do so optionally. I propose a dynamic framework in which, following from Frank (1997), information states are possible discourse referents. I also propose that these referents are potentially subject to familiarity presuppositions, whose presence makes a modal definite, and whose absence makes a modal nondefinite.


How to Cite

Klecha, P. (2019). Optional and Obligatory Modal Subordination. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 365–380. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/387