The interaction of modality and tense in Korean
This dissertation examines the interpretations of modal expressions in Korean, focusing on their interaction with tense. I look at two specific modal constructions in Korean that clearly show modal-tense interactions. One involves a modal –ul swu iss– 'can, may' which was previously assumed as a possibility modal, and the other involves a necessity priority modal –eya ha– 'must, have to'. There are many descriptive accounts in the literature but few works formally analyze modality in Korean. The goal of the dissertation is to provide a coherent theory about how tense contributes to meanings of modal sentences from a formal semantic perspective.The modal –ul swu iss– 'can, may' in Korean can receive various kinds of interpre- tations: epistemic, priority, and dynamic. With a past complement, however, –ul swu iss– does not allow non-epistemic readings. In addition, when –ul swu iss– 'can, may' is realized in the past tense, an actuality inference arises in addition to the primary modal interpreta- tion. In my proposal, the semantic ambiguity arises due to three distinct semantic entries. I argue that the new semantic component "x chooses P" plays a crucial role for the –ul swu iss– modal having circumstantial modal bases. "Choosing" is defined if it satisfies two requirements: the diversity requirement and the agentivity requirement. Based on the pro- posed semantic entry, I argue that the actuality inference, which is an R-based implicature, is derived by a combination of the semantic meaning and pragmatic reasoning.The necessity priority modal –eya ha– 'must, have to' gives rise to the non-actualization inference when it combines with a past complement. After showing that the uncancellable non-actualization inference is a not-at-issue entailment, I discuss how to derive the infer- ence semantically and pragmatically. My proposal builds on the analysis presented for the –ul swu iss– modal, as "x chooses P" is part of the semantics of the –eya ha– modal. Unlike the –ul swu iss– modal, however, I introduce new machinery to shift the reference time backwards. That is done by decomposing the modal into a modal and a choosing operator, and the choosing itself incorporates a time argument.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.