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  1. Dorit Abusch (2012). Circumstantial and Temporal Dependence in Counterfactual Modals. Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):273-297.
    “Counterfactual” readings of might/could have were previously analyzed using metaphysical modal bases. This paper presents examples and scenarios where the assumptions of such a branching-time semantics are not met, because there are facts at the base world that preclude the complement of the modal becoming true. Additional arguments show that counterfactual readings are context dependent. These data motivate a semantics using a circumstantial (or factual) modal base, which refers to context-dependent facts about a world and time. The analysis is formulated (...)
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  2. Dorit Abusch (2007). Temporal and Circumstantial Dependence in Counterfactual Modals. In Dekker Aloni (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Amsterdam Colloquium.
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  3. Maria Aloni (2007). Free Choice, Modals, and Imperatives. Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):65-94.
    The article proposes an analysis of imperatives and possibility and necessity statements that (i) explains their differences with respect to the licensing of free choice any and (ii) accounts for the related phenomena of free choice disjunction in imperatives, permissions, and statements. Any and or are analyzed as operators introducing sets of alternative propositions. Free choice licensing operators are treated as quantifiers over these sets. In this way their interpretation can be sensitive to the alternatives any and or introduce in (...)
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  4. Luis Alonso-Ovalle & Paula Menéndez-Benito (2010). Modal Indefinites. Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):1-31.
    Across languages, we find indefinites that trigger modal inferences. This article contributes to a semantic typology of these items by contrasting Spanish algún with indefinites like German irgendein or Italian uno qualsiasi. While irgendein-type indefinites trigger a Free Choice effect (Kratzer and Shimoyama 2002; Chierchia 2006), algún simply signals that at least two individuals in its domain are possibilities. Additionally, algún, but not irgendein, can convey that the speaker does not know how many individuals satisfy the existential claim in the (...)
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  5. Charity Anderson (2014). Fallibilism and the Flexibility of Epistemic Modals. Philosophical Studies 167 (3):597-606.
    It is widely acknowledged that epistemic modals admit of inter-subjective flexibility. This paper introduces intra-subjective flexibility for epistemic modals and draws on this flexibility to argue that fallibilism is consistent with the standard account of epistemic modals.
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  6. Erik Andersson (2003). Modality in Swedish. Revue Belge de Philologie Et D’Histoire 81 (3):845-865.
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  7. Ana Arregui (2010). Detaching If-Clauses From Should. Natural Language Semantics 18 (3):241-293.
    This paper investigates some aspects of the semantics of deontic should-conditionals. The main objective is to understand which actual world facts make deontic statements true. The starting point for the investigation is a famous puzzle known as Chisholm’s Paradox. It is important because making sense of the data in Chisholm-style examples involves arriving at some conclusion regarding the interaction between what we consider ideal and what is actually true. I give an account of how facts affect the evaluation of should (...)
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  8. Ana Arregui (2007). When Aspect Matters: The Case of Would-Conditionals. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 15 (3):221-264.
    Differences in the interpretation of would-conditionals with simple (perfective) and perfect antecedent clauses are marked enough to discourage a unified view. However, this paper presents a unified, Lewis–Stalnaker style semantics for the modal in such constructions. Differences in the interpretation of the conditionals are derived from the interaction between the interpretation of different types of aspect and the modal. The paper makes a distinction between perfective and perfect aspect in terms of whether they make reference to or quantify over Lewis-style (...)
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  9. Nicholas Asher & Daniel Bonevac (2005). Free Choice Permission is Strong Permission. Synthese 145 (3):303 - 323.
    Free choice permission, a crucial test case concerning the semantics/ pragmatics boundary, usually receives a pragmatic treatment. But its pragmatic features follow from its semantics. We observe that free choice inferences are defeasible, and defend a semantics of free choice permission as strong permission expressed in terms of a modal conditional in a nonmonotonic logic.
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  10. Victor H. Balowitz (1976). Meaning, Reference and Necessity. International Studies in Philosophy 8:216-217.
  11. Gilead Bar-Elli, A Fregean Look at Kripke's Modal Notion of Meaning.
    In Naming and Necessity Kripke accuses Frege of conflating two notions of meaning (or sense), one is meaning proper, the other is determining of reference (p. 59). More precisely, Kripke argues that Frege conflated the question of how the meaning of a word is given or determined with the question of how its reference is determined. The criterial mark of meaning determination, according to Kripke, is a statement of synonymy: if we give the sense of “a” by means of “b”, (...)
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  12. David Braun (2013). Invariantism About 'Can' and 'May' (as Well as 'Might'). Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (2):181-185.
    Braun (Linguistics & Philosophy 35, 461–489, 2012) argued for a non- relativist, invariantist theory of ‘might’. Yanovich (Linguistics & Philosophy, 2013) argues that Braun’s theory is inconsistent with certain facts concerning diachronic meaning changes in ‘might’, ‘can’, and ‘may’. This paper replies to Yanovich’s objection.
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  13. David Braun (2012). An Invariantist Theory of 'Might' Might Be Right. Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):461-489.
    Invariantism about ‘might’ says that ‘might’ semantically expresses the same modal property in every context. This paper presents and defends a version of invariantism. According to it, ‘might’ semantically expresses the same weak modal property in every context. However, speakers who utter sentences containing ‘might’ typically assert propositions concerning stronger types of modality, including epistemic modality. This theory can explain the phenomena that motivate contextualist theories of epistemic uses of ‘might’, and can be defended from objections of the sort that (...)
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  14. Phillip Bricker (2004). McGinn on Non-Existent Objects and Reducing Modality. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 118 (3):439-451.
    In this discussion of Colin McGinn's book, 'Logical Properties', I comment first on the chapter "Existence", then on the chapter "Modality." With respect to existence, I argue that McGinn's view that existence is a property that some objects have and other objects lack requires the property of existence to be fundamentally unlike ordinary qualitative properties. Moreover, it opens up a challenging skeptical problem: how do I know that I exist? With respect to modality, I argue that McGinn's argument that quantificational (...)
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  15. Berit Brogaard (2009). On Keeping Blue Swans and Unknowable Facts at Bay : A Case Study on Fitch's Paradox. In Joe Salerno (ed.), New Essays on the Knowability Paradox. Oxford University Press
    (T5) ϕ → ◊Kϕ |-- ϕ → Kϕ where ◊ is possibility, and ‘Kϕ’ is to be read as ϕ is known by someone at some time. Let us call the premise the knowability principle and the conclusion near-omniscience.2 Here is a way of formulating Fitch’s proof of (T5). Suppose the knowability principle is true. Then the following instance of it is true: (p & ~Kp) → ◊K(p & ~Kp). But the consequent is false, it is not possible to know (...)
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  16. Fabrizio Cariani (2013). Epistemic and Deontic Should. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):73-84.
    Probabilistic theories of “should” and “ought” face a predicament. At first blush, it seems that such theories must provide different lexical entries for the epistemic and the deontic interpretations of these modals. I show that there is a new style of premise semantics that can avoid this consequence in an attractively conservative way.
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  17. Fabrizio Cariani, Magdalena Kaufmann & Stefan Kaufmann (2013). Deliberative Modality Under Epistemic Uncertainty. Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):225-259.
    We discuss the semantic significance of a puzzle concerning ‘ought’ and conditionals recently discussed by Kolodny and MacFarlane. We argue that the puzzle is problematic for the standard Kratzer-style analysis of modality. In Kratzer’s semantics, modals are evaluated relative to a pair of conversational backgrounds. We show that there is no sensible way of assigning values to these conversational backgrounds so as to derive all of the intuitions in Kolodny and MacFarlane’s case. We show that the appropriate verdicts can be (...)
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  18. Nate Charlow (2014). Logic and Semantics for Imperatives. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
    In this paper I will develop a view about the semantics of imperatives, which I term Modal Noncognitivism, on which imperatives might be said to have truth conditions (dispositionally, anyway), but on which it does not make sense to see them as expressing propositions (hence does not make sense to ascribe to them truth or falsity). This view stands against “Cognitivist” accounts of the semantics of imperatives, on which imperatives are claimed to express propositions, which are then enlisted in explanations (...)
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  19. Condoravdi Cleo & Kaufmann Stefan (2005). Modality and Temporality. Journal of Semantics 22 (2).
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  20. Ezra Cook (2013). Epistemic Modals and Common Ground. Inquiry 56 (2-3):179-209.
    This paper considers some questions related to the determination of epistemic modal domains. Specifically, given situations in which groups of agents have epistemic states that bear on a modal domain, how is the domain best restricted? This is a metasemantic project, in which I combine a standard semantics for epistemic modals, as developed by Kratzer, with a standard story about conversational dynamics, as developed by Stalnaker. I show how a standard framework for epistemic logic can model their interaction. I contend (...)
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  21. Veneeta Dayal (1998). 4лт as Inherently Modal5. Linguistics and Philosophy 21:433-476.
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  22. Richard Dietz (2008). Epistemic Modals and Correct Disagreement. In G. Carpintero & M. Koelbel (eds.), Relative Truth. Oxford University Press 239--264.
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  23. V. H. Dudman (1980). PALMER, F. R., "Modality and the English Modals". [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 58:420.
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  24. Billy Dunaway & Alex Silk (2014). Whither Anankastics? Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):75-94.
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  25. Bart Geurts (2005). Entertaining Alternatives: Disjunctions as Modals. Natural Language Semantics 13 (4):383-410.
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  26. Kai von Fintel & Gillies & Anthony (2007). An Opinionated Guide to Epistemic Modality. In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology: Volume 2. OUP Oxford
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  27. K. Gluer & P. Pagin (2012). Reply to Forbes. Analysis 72 (2):298-303.
    In earlier work (Glüer, K. and P. Pagin. 2006. Proper names and relational modality. Linguistics & Philosophy 29: 507–35; Glüer, K. and P. Pagin. 2008. Relational modality. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17: 307–22), we developed a semantics for (metaphysical) modal operators that accommodates Kripkean intuitions about proper names in modal contexts even if names are not rigid designators. Graeme Forbes (2011. The problem of factives for sense theories. Analysis 71: 654–62.) criticizes our proposal. He argues that our semantics (...)
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  28. Martin Hackl & Jon Nissenbaum (2012). A Modal Ambiguity in for-Infinitival Relative Clauses. Natural Language Semantics 20 (1):59-81.
    This squib presents two puzzles related to an ambiguity found in for-infinitival relative clauses (FIRs). FIRs invariably receive a modal interpretation even in the absence of any overt modal verb. The modal interpretation seems to come in two distinct types, which can be paraphrased by finite relative clauses employing the modal auxiliaries should and could. The two puzzles presented here arise because the availability of the two readings is constrained by factors that are not otherwise known to affect the interpretation (...)
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  29. Valentine Hacquard (2010). On the Event Relativity of Modal Auxiliaries. Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):79-114.
    Crosslinguistically, the same modal words can be used to express a wide range of interpretations. This crosslinguistic trend supports a Kratzerian analysis, where each modal has a core lexical entry and where the difference between an epistemic and a root interpretation is contextually determined. A long-standing problem for such a unified account is the equally robust crosslinguistic correlation between a modal’s interpretation and its syntactic behavior: epistemics scope high (in particular higher than tense and aspect) and roots low, a fact (...)
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  30. R. Harre (1959). Modal Expressions in Ordinary and Technical Language. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):41 – 56.
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  31. Henry Hiż (1961). Modalities and Extended Systems. Journal of Philosophy 58 (23):723-731.
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  32. Ludger Jansen (2000). Sind Vermögensprädikationen Modalaussagen? In Ontologie der Modalitäten. 179-193.
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  33. R. Kirk (1962). Language and Necessity. Philosophical Quarterly 12 (46):77-80.
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  34. Mikhail Kissine (2008). Why Will is Not a Modal. Natural Language Semantics 16 (2):129-155.
    In opposition to a common assumption, this paper defends the idea that the auxiliary verb will has no other semantic contribution in contemporary English than a temporal shift towards the future with respect to the utterance time. Strong reasons for rejecting the idea that will quantifies over possible worlds are presented. Given the adoption of Lewis’s and Kratzer’s views on modality, the alleged ‘modal’ uses of will are accounted for by a pragmatic mechanism which restricts the domain of the covert (...)
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  35. Daniel Lassiter (2016). Must, Knowledge, and Directness. Natural Language Semantics 24 (2):117-163.
    This paper presents corpus and experimental data that problematize the traditional analysis of must as a strong necessity modal, as recently revived and defended by von Fintel and Gillies :351–383, 2010). I provide naturalistic examples showing that must p can be used alongside an explicit denial of knowledge of p or certainty in p, and that it can be conjoined with an expression indicating that p is not certain or that not-p is possible. I also report the results of an (...)
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  36. James D. McCawley (1975). The Category Status of English Modals. Foundations of Language 12 (4):597-601.
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  37. Eric McCready & Norry Ogata (2007). Adjectives, Stereotypicality, and Comparison. Natural Language Semantics 15 (1):35-63.
    Japanese has a large number of evidential and modal expressions. Many of the inferential evidentials – mitai, yoo, rashii – also have an adjectival use. On this use, they make a claim about the prototypicality of some object or individual with respect to another class of object, in the case of rashii, or about the similarity of these two objects, for yoo and mitai. This paper provides a compositional semantics for these adjectives, claiming that they are evaluated in terms of (...)
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  38. Paula Men´Endez-Benito, Modal Indefinites.
    Across languages, we find indefinites that trigger modal inferences. This article contributes to a semantic typology of these items by contrasting Spanish alg´un with in-.
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  39. Martin Montminy (2012). Epistemic Modals and Indirect Weak Suggestives. Dialectica 66 (4):583-606.
    I defend a contextualist account of bare epistemic modal claims against recent objections. I argue that in uttering a sentence of the form ‘It might be that p,’ a speaker is performing two speech acts. First, she is (directly) asserting that in view of the knowledge possessed by some relevant group, it might be that p. The content of this first speech act is accounted for by the contextualist view. But the speaker's utterance also generates an indirect speech act that (...)
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  40. Christian Nimtz (forthcoming). Paradigm Terms: The Necessity of Kind Term Identifications Generalized. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Standard Kripke-Putnam semantics is widely taken to entail that theoretical identifications like ‘Brontosauruses are Apatosauruses’ or ‘Gold is 79Au’ are necessary, if true. I offer a new diagnosis as to why this modal consequence ensues. Central to my diagnosis is the concept of a paradigm term. I argue that modal and epistemic peculiarities that are commonly considered as distinctive of natural kind expressions are in fact traits that are shared by paradigm terms in general. Philosophical semantics should broaden its focus (...)
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  41. Huw Price, The Genealogy of Modals.
    The status and respectability of alethic modality was always a point of contention and divergence between naturalism and empiricism. It poses no problems in principle for naturalism, since modal vocabulary is an integral part of all the candidate naturalistic base vocabularies. Fundamental physics is above all a language of laws; the special sciences distinguish between true and false counterfactual claims; and ordinary empirical talk is richly dispositional. By contrast, modality has been a stumbling-block for the empiricist tradition ever since Hume (...)
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  42. Andrea Rocci (2013). Modal Conversational Backgrounds and Evidential Bases in Predictions: The View From the Italian Modals. In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. OUP Oxford 1--128.
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  43. Maribel Romero (2013). Modal Superlatives: A Compositional Analysis. [REVIEW] Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):79-110.
    Superlative adjectives accompanied by certain modal adjectives like possible (e.g. John bought the largest possible present) are ambiguous between a reading where possible is a regular noun modifier and a reading paraphrasable as ‘as Adj as possible’, called ‘modal superlative reading’. Three interesting restrictions have been observed in the literature. First, possible and some other adjectives ending in -able, but not potential and probable, support the latter reading. Second, when the modal adjective appears postnominally, only the modal superlative reading is (...)
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  44. Hotze Rullmann, Lisa Matthewson & Henry Davis (2008). Modals as Distributive Indefinites. Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):317-357.
    Modals in St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) show two differences from their counterparts in English. First, they have variable quantificational force, systematically allowing both possibility and necessity interpretations; and second, they lexically restrict the conversational background, distinguishing for example between deontic and (several kinds of) epistemic modality. We provide an analysis of the St’át’imcets modals according to which they are akin to specific indefinites in the nominal domain. They introduce choice function variables which select a subset of the accessible worlds. Following Klinedinst, (...)
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  45. Alex Silk (2014). Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
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  46. Alex Silk (2014). Why 'Ought' Detaches: Or, Why You Ought to Get with My Friends (If You Want to Be My Lover). Philosophers' Imprint 14 (7).
    This paper argues that a standard analysis of modals from formal semantics suggests a solution to the detaching problem — the problem of whether un-embedded 'ought'-claims can "detach" (be derived) from hypothetical imperatives and their antecedent conditions. On a broadly Kratzerian analysis, modals have a skeletal conventional meaning and receive a particular reading (e.g., deontic, epistemic, teleological) only relative to certain forms of contextual supplementation. I argue that 'ought'-claims can detach — subject to an important qualification — but only as (...)
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  47. Neil Tennant (1977). Recursive Semantics For Knowledge and Belief. The Monist 60 (3):419-430.
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  48. Fernando Tim (2005). Schedules in a Temporal Interpretation of Modals. Journal of Semantics 22 (2).
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  49. Giacomo Turbanti (2011). Modality in Brandom's Incompatibility Semantics. In María Inés Crespo, Dimitris Gakis & Galit Weidman-Sassoon (eds.), Proceedings of the Amsterdam Graduate Conference - Truth, Meaning, and Normativity. ILLC Publications
    In the fifth of his John Locke Lectures, Robert Brandom takes up the challenge to define a formal semantics for modelling conceptual contents according to his normative analysis of linguistic practices. The project is to exploit the notion of incompatibility in order to directly define a modally robust relation of entailment. Unfortunately, it can be proved that, in the original definition, the modal system represented by Incompatibility Semantics (IS) collapses into propositional calculus. In this paper I show how IS can (...)
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  50. Emanuel Viebahn & Barbara Vetter (2016). How Many Meanings for ‘May’? The Case for Modal Polysemy. Philosophers' Imprint 16 (10).
    The standard Kratzerian analysis of modal auxiliaries, such as ‘may’ and ‘can’, takes them to be univocal and context-sensitive. Our first aim is to argue for an alternative view, on which such expressions are polysemous. Our second aim is to thereby shed light on the distinction between semantic context-sensitivity and polysemy. To achieve these aims, we examine the mechanisms of polysemy and context-sensitivity and provide criteria with which they can be held apart. We apply the criteria to modal auxiliaries and (...)
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