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      Certainly but not certain: The expression of subjective and objective probability

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          Abstract

          This paper investigates the interpretation of the epistemic modal adjectives possible, certain and their adverbial counterparts possibly, certainly, taking the perspective that the former express objective modality, whereas the latter express subjective modality. In support of this view, we report on two experiments that assess speakers’ acceptance of possible, certain, possibly, certainly in different contexts. Our results extend those of Lassiter (2016) in demonstrating a difference in interpretation between the adjectival and adverbial modals, with possibly less acceptable than possible but conversely certainly more acceptable than certain in the same situations. Furthermore, the results of our experiments suggest a new insight, namely that these differences depend, to some extent, on the probability of the eventuality in question and polarity of the prejacent sentence.

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          Most cited references41

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          Fitting Linear Mixed-Effects Models Usinglme4

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            Core systems of number.

            What representations underlie the ability to think and reason about number? Whereas certain numerical concepts, such as the real numbers, are only ever represented by a subset of human adults, other numerical abilities are widespread and can be observed in adults, infants and other animal species. We review recent behavioral and neuropsychological evidence that these ontogenetically and phylogenetically shared abilities rest on two core systems for representing number. Performance signatures common across development and across species implicate one system for representing large, approximate numerical magnitudes, and a second system for the precise representation of small numbers of individual objects. These systems account for our basic numerical intuitions, and serve as the foundation for the more sophisticated numerical concepts that are uniquely human.
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              How probable is probable? A numerical translation of verbal probability expressions

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Open Library of the Humanities
                2397-1835
                January 14 2022
                August 19 2022
                : 7
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)
                Article
                10.16995/glossa.5847
                159cbd46-43e2-4f90-9469-d835ef1945a3
                © 2022

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

                Product
                Self URI (article page): https://www.glossa-journal.org/article/id/5847/

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