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Bookmark and Share Paper 1455

Have to and the Scope of Modality
Felicia Lee
245-253 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper uses the behavior of modal have to argue for an alternate strategy for deriving the different subject scopes of epistemic and root modals. Modal have shows a number of previously unnoted properties: Unlike other expressions of modal necessity, it takes scope under, rather than over, negation on both its epistemic and root readings (compare Pam doesn't have to be in the house with Pam must not be in the house), and may co-occur with modal auxiliaries on both its epistemic and root readings. These data suggest that modal have takes scope in the same low position on both readings, and calls into question proposals (Cinque 1999, Butler 2003) that different modality types are licensed in unique functional projections. Yet subjects of modal have show the same subject scope properties as other modals: root subjects take scope over have, while epistemic subjects take scope below it. The fact that both epistemic and root have allow expletive subjects (It has to have rained last night, There has to be a report on my desk by noon) militates against the possibility of them being homophonous raising and control predicates. Instead, this paper proposes the following mechanism for deriving epistemic and root subject scope with modal have: both are raising predicates that take scope in the same low position (VP), and subject scope is determined by the LF position of the subject. Root subjects take scope above have at LF, while epistemic subjects take scope below it. Evidence for this proposal comes from the different possible interpretations of subject wh-expressions in root and epistemic have constructions, and from British English subject agreement facts.

Published in

Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00