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      Epistemic Future and epistemic modal verbs in Portuguese

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      Journal of Portuguese Linguistics

      Ubiquity Press

      epistemic Future, epistemic modality, modal verbs

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          Abstract

          This paper discusses the semantics of two epistemic operators in Portuguese: the epistemic Future and modal verbs. The idea sustained in the literature for other languages that the epistemic Future has the same semantics as the modal verb (equivalent to) MUST does not account for the Portuguese data. The proposal is made that, though epistemic Future and epistemic modal verbs are devices to convey uncertainty, they operate on different grounds. Epistemic modal verbs are quantifiers over possible worlds, expressing a degree of epistemic commitment towards a proposition, while the epistemic Future is argued to be a mark signaling lack of evidence at the context of utterance. The other modal verbs of Portuguese, in their epistemic reading, are also considered, the proposal being made that Portuguese has also a modal verb that existentially quantifies over the set of Best worlds. This shows a very symmetric picture of Portuguese modal verbs: two of them select an ordered modal base and two others an unordered modal base; for each domain of quantification – the entire modal base or the set of Best Worlds (a subset of the modal base) – there will be an existential and a universal quantifier.

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          Most cited references 5

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          What ?must? and ?can? must and can mean

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            Devoir épistémique, valeur modale ou évidentielle? [Epistemic must, modal or evidential value?]

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              Evidentiality in Bulgarian: Temporality, epistemic modality, and information source

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-5563
                Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-5563
                17 July 2020
                2020
                : 19
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Univ. Lisboa ( FLUL/CLUL), PT
                Article
                10.5334/jpl.243
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research paper

                Linguistics & Semiotics, Languages of Europe

                epistemic Future, epistemic modality, modal verbs

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