What gerund complements tell us about deontic necessity modals

  • Diti Bhadra
  • Arka Banerjee

Abstract

This work is an exploration of the interaction between deontic necessity modals and the obligatorily gerundive complements they take in South Asian languages, with a focus on Bangla. We investigate a novel semantic category of gerunds – which we call gen-gerunds –arguing that they contain special morphology that embodies a relation between a deontic neces-sity and a set of eventualities that this necessity holds over. This morphology turns gen-gerunds into definite descriptions, unlike regular gerunds. Focusing futher on the (in)compatibilities between regular and gen-gerunds and strong and weak deontic necessity, we argue that the composition is affected by the nominal or predicative status of the modals, and these effects directly inform the distribution of these elements. We connect our account to interaction with negation and copulas with strong and weak necessity as well, and argue that the combined fac-tors of the semantics of gerunds and the categorial semantics of the modals themselves provide the answers to our main questions.
Published
2021-09-16
How to Cite
Bhadra, D., & Banerjee, A. (2021). What gerund complements tell us about deontic necessity modals. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 130-147. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.928