Aspect, Scope, and Future Conditionals

  • Bridget Copley


This paper argues that though will and be going to both involve a future modal, their meanings differ aspectually. Be going to includes a progressive-like aspectual operator that takes scope over the future modal. Will, on the other hand, is ambiguous between a reading that is the future modal alone, and a reading that has a generic-like aspectual operator over the modal. The evidence for these logical forms consists primarily of modal effects caused by aspectual operation on the temporal argument of the future modal’s accessibility relation. Similar evidence motivates a proposal that future modals in conditionals can have scope either over or under the antecedent of the conditional. These findings argue against analyses that treat futures as a kind of tense, and suggest possible directions for theories of aspect, modals, and conditionals.
How to Cite
Copley, B. (2019). Aspect, Scope, and Future Conditionals. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 8, 67-82.