Circumstantial and temporal dependence in counterfactual modals

Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):273-297 (2012)

“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 in a version of premise semantics for modality
Keywords Metaphysical modality  Circumstantial modality  Premise semantics  Interactions between tense and modality  Branching time  Natural language semantics
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11050-012-9082-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,645
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
CIA Leaks.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):77-98.
Syntax and Semantics of Questions.Lauri Karttunen - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1):3--44.
On the Event Relativity of Modal Auxiliaries.Valentine Hacquard - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):79-114.
Facts: Particulars or Information Units?Angelika Kratzer - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):655-670.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
55 ( #133,939 of 2,326,145 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #50,865 of 2,326,145 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature