Proceedings of SALT 26 ()

Alda Mari
Institut Jean Nicod
Italian is a well-known exception to the cross-linguistic generalization according to which `belief' predicates are indicative selectors across languages. We newly propose that languages that select the subjunctive with epistemic predicates allow us to see a systematic polysemy between what we call an expressive-`belief' (featuring only a doxastic dimension) and an inquisitive-`belief' (featuring both a doxastic and an epistemic dimension conveying doxastic certainty (in the assertion) and epistemic uncertainty (in the presupposition)). We offer several previously unseen contrasts proving this distinction and offer a new analysis for mood choice cross-linguistically. We argue that the distinction between expressive and inquisitive attitudes is not an idiosyncrasy of non-factive epistemics. We provide novel data, showing that fictional predicates (dream, imagine) license the subjunctive. We explain the indicative/subjunctive alternation by again appealing to epistemic uncertainty and disentangling expressive from inquisitive-fictional meanings. We thus pave the way for a new typology of attitudes relying on this systematic polysemy and propose new criteria to explain mood distribution cross-linguistically.
Keywords Belief  Subjunctive  Fictional predicates  Mood
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,360
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Must . . . Stay . . . Strong!Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (4):351-383.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Expressive Power, Mood, and Actuality.Rohan French - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1689-1699.
Indicative and Subjunctive Conditionals.Wayne A. Davis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):544-564.
Fictional Persuasion and the Nature of Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2017 - In Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 174-193.
Presuppositions, Composition, and Simple Subjunctives.Walter Kasper - 1992 - Journal of Semantics 9 (4):307-331.
Propositional Attitudes in Fiction.John Zeimbekis - 2004 - British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):261-276.
An Epistemic Theory of Conditionals.Frank Erich Doring - 1993 - Dissertation, Princeton University


Added to PP index

Total views
42 ( #255,110 of 2,448,931 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #443,144 of 2,448,931 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes