Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Modality, Negation, and Their Interactions in Yami
|Publication Year :||2019|
|Abstract:||Modality and negation represent two notional categories that are not typically addressed together in typological linguistic studies, despite both being directly related to the propositional content of a phrase. Modality encodes the speaker’s attitudes and opinions concerning the propositional content of the utterance (Bybee et al. 1994:176), or the status of the proposition that encodes the event (Palmer 2001:1), and is traditionally thought of in terms of possibility and necessity (Lyons 1977:787). Negation, on the other hand, concerns itself primarily with the notion of a proposition’s truth value. This thesis provides a characterization of the modal system in Yami, a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in Taiwan, from two angles. First, it examines the expression of modality as a coherent typological/linguistic category in Yami, employing a top-down approach to provide a general description of the semantic and morphosyntactic properties of modally-associated terms. Second, it investigates the relative scope interactions between modality and negation, detailing the morphosyntactic strategies utilized to manage variable scope relations. The present study demonstrates that Yami employs a mixed modal system – the typological category of modality is formally expressed both via a set of modal verbs and morphosyntactically on the main verb itself. The modalities expressed on the main verb are limited to event modality, whereas those expressed through some variety of modal verb encompass both propositional and event modalities. Additionally, the modal verbs together constitute a discrete modal system, whereas the modal expression on the main verb itself are contributed from three separate morphosyntactic systems. This state of affairs points to the system of modal verbs being the more salient strategy. Further, we show that Yami has a strict syntactic order of modal and negative elements in the VP and must rely on the modal suppletion strategy (MSS) to differentiate wide-scope negation from narrow-scope negation, classifying it as an MSS language as per de Haan’s (1997) typology. Our analysis finds that the weak modalities (possibility) have a predictable scope relation paradigm in which narrow-scope negation is expressed with an independent modal element formally scoping over a negative operator, while wide-scope negation is expressed with a semantically negative modal operator. The strong ends of the modal spectrum (necessity) are less independently formalized and consequently must resort to directly borrowing other forms. Strong deontic modality borrows primarily from weak deontic modality patterns in accordance with logical semantic equivalencies, while strong epistemic modality borrows forms from the strong assertion end of the epistemic modality continuum. Moreover, Yami may encode both strong epistemic modality and strong deontic modality using negative morphosyntax. Most notably, Yami employs double negative constructions to encode affirmative deontic necessity ‘must’ as well as affirmative deontic commissives.|
|Appears in Collections:||語言學研究所|
Files in This Item:
|1.73 MB||Adobe PDF|
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.