top of page

New Draft: Can

A draft of my "Two Puzzles about Ability Can" is now available in the Research section. Here is the abstract:

The received wisdom on ability modals is that they differ from their epistemic and deontic cousins in what inferences they license and better receive a universal or conditional analysis instead of an existential one. The goal of this paper is to sharpen the empirical picture about the semantics of ability modals, and to propose an analysis that explains what makes the can of ability so special but that also preserves the crucial intuition that all uses of can share a common lexical semantics. The resulting framework combines tools and techniques from dynamic and inquisitive semantics with insights from the literature of the the role of agency in deontic logic. It explains not only why the canof ability, while essentially being an existential modal operator, sometimes resists distribution over disjunction and interacts with its duals in particular and hitherto unnoticed ways, but also has a tendency to license free choice inferences.

Recent Posts

See All

On Stojnic's Context and Coherence

My contribution to a book symposium on Una Stojnić's recent Context and Coherence: The Logic and Grammar of Prominence has now appeared in Inquiry (here).

On Cariani's The Modal Future

My review of Fabrizio Cariani's recent The Modal Future has now appeared in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (https://ndpr.nd.edu/reviews/the-modal-future-a-theory-of-future-directed-thought-and-talk/

Counterstance Contingency

My joint paper with Chris Kennedy on how the notion of counterstance contingency can help make us sense of subjectivity in language is now forthcoming in Linguistics and Philosophy---check it our here

Comments


bottom of page