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Evidence, Experiment and Argument in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language

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Edited By Martin Hinton

This volume is concerned with issues in experimental philosophy and experimental linguistics. Examining experiments in language from a variety of perspectives, it asks what form they should take and what should count as evidence. There is particular focus on the status of linguistic intuitions and the use of language corpora. A number of papers address issues of methodology in experimental work, while other contributions examine the use of thought experiments and what the hypothetical can tell us about the actual. The aim of this collection is to bring together the work of linguists and philosophers in order that they may learn from one another, and to help both groups understand how the use of experimental methods can affect the arguments they employ and the claims they make.
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Leszek Szymański - The Interaction of Negated Must and Grammatical Aspect in Contemporary American English – an Empirical Contribution to Aspect-modality Interaction Studies

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Leszek Szymański

University of Zielona Góra

The Interaction of Negated Must and Grammatical Aspect in Contemporary American English – an Empirical Contribution to Aspect-modality Interaction Studies

1. Introduction

Modality has been within the interest of thinkers since Aristotelean times. As much as this concept is philosophical in its nature, modality has also raised the interest of linguists. This is so because natural languages provide inventories of linguistic devices which enable people to express modality.

The present study addresses the notion of modality from the point of view of language sciences. Existing research recognizes the category of aspect as a significant factor influencing modality. This is so because certain patterns of modality-aspect interaction have been proposed (see, for example, Abraham 2008, Abraham and Leiss 2008, Kotin 2012). These generalizations refer to the convergence of the perfective aspect of the main verb and root modality, as well as the imperfective aspect and epistemic modality. Additionally, clausal negation followed by the perfective aspect is claimed to entail the expression of epistemic modality (after Abraham 2008: 6).

Following this argumentation, the study portrayed in this paper addresses the issue of modality-aspect interaction, with the application of the empirical methodology of corpus linguistics. The scope of the analysis in question has been narrowed down to one English modal auxiliary must followed by the negative adverb not within the matrix predicate. Hence, the central issue scrutinized in this paper is...

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