This paper evaluates existing proposals for the apparent correlation between modal flavour and temporal orientation through the lens of attitude verbs. Work thus far has focussed on modal auxiliaries, but attitude verbs with modal-quantificational analyses can shed new light on understanding the temporal orientation of modal elements. Building on work by Condoravdi (2002), Werner (2006) and Lekakou and Nilsen (2008) present arguments that the temporal orientation of modal quantifiers depends solely on their modal base. This analysis is generalised to extend to attitude verbs by Klecha (2016), predicting that the complement of an attitude verb can be future-shifted just in case the modal base is circumstantial. Evidence from the temporal interpretation of complements of hope, want, and the Dutch denken 'think' show that these predictions are not borne out. The original arguments from Lekakou and Nilsen (2008) can be modified to account only for the lack of future-shift with strong epistemic necessity, without making any further incorrect predictions about attitude verbs. This leaves determining the source (or lack) of future-shifting by certain attitude verbs a mystery for the future.
Proceedings of the 35th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Wm. G. Bennett, Lindsay Hracs, and Dennis Ryan Storoshenko
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