"Norwegian Modals" is a detailed description of the syntactic and semantic
properties of modals in Norwegian. Modal verbs in Mainland Scandinavian
languages have received much less attention than their English and German
counterparts, hence this book seizes the opportunity to present a range of
new data and generalizations relevant for the study of Scandinavian
languages, but also for the study of modality in Germanic and other languages.
The book critically evaluates a range of proposals from the modality
literature, focusing on the Theta-properties and the scopal properties of
Modals in Germanic languages, and concludes that none of these previous
proposals are able to account for the syntax of modals in Norwegian. The
Theta-properties of modals are shown to depend on the construction in which
the modal occurs, hence neither a raising analysis, a control analysis, nor
a raising-versus-control analysis in fact suffices to exhaust these
properties of Norwegian modals.
The interplay of modals with tense and aspect is likewise thoroughly
investigated, presenting a range of data revealing that existing
universalist proposals are insufficient to account for even quite regular
patterns. Instead, a new analysis is presented, building on a new
compositional tense system which exploits aspectual features of predicates
and selectional preferences of modal classes.
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