Epistemic Modality and Related Issues in Old Babylonian
A review article concerning a recent monograph on epistemic modality in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian
In the paper I consider the causative constructions in Russian. I examine the use of tense and aspect in constructions with the verbs zastavit’ / zastavljat’ ‘make’ and pozvolit’ / pozvoljat’ ‘let, allow’. I also include the verb delat’ / sdelat ‘make’ in my analysis, though this verb has special syntactic and semantic characteristics.
The striking feature of the causative constructions with eventive subjects is that the tensed forms and temporal adverbs in these constructions do not obligatorily refer to the causing situation. The tensed forms and adverbials sometimes refer only to the caused situation.
I assume that it is the nature of events vs. participants that is responsible for these distinctions. Each dynamic event is associated with some result. I have shown that in some cases what the tense of the causative verb and temporal adverbials refer to is the result of the causing event, and not the causing event in the narrow sense.
I consider constructions that involve the modal verb moch' or the modal adjective dolzhen and the subjunctive particle by. I argue that, with respect to the subjunctive, these modals behave differently from regular verbs. Their subjunctive is often functionally identical to the indicative; in contexts where other verbs obligatorily take the subjunctive form, these two predicates may use the indicative. The main factor that controls omissibility of the subjunctive particle is shown to be an epistemic interpretation. I consider some typical cases where the subjunctive and the indicative are synonymous for these predicates, and those where they are not. Thus, in the apodosis of conditional constructions the particle is often omitted, although, in general, Russian prefers a symmetrical use of the subjunctive in both protasis and apodosis. On the other hand, when in the protasis, the particle is not omitted. The subjunctive is often used with the modals for pragmatic purposes, such as politeness. The paper is based on the data from the Russian National Corpus.
The article gives an analysis of the relation between freedom and rationality in the work of F.W.J.Schelling in the time between 1800 and 1810. The author argues that Schelling’s understanding of the concept of freedom in context of his identity philosophy is not so due to his reception of Platonism as to his reflection on various problems of the theory of transcendental ideal in Kant’s “Critic of pure reason”, at first on the problem of conditions for the possibility of the predicative form of propositions which Schelling interprets as a basic form of any rationality.
The Caucasus is the place with the greatest linguistic variation in Europe. The present volume explores this variation within the tense, aspect, mood, and evidentiality systems in the languages of the North-East Caucasian (or Nakh-Daghestanian) family. The papers of the volume cover the most challenging and typologically interesting features such as aspect and the complicated interaction of aspectual oppositions expressed by stem allomorphy and inflectional paradigms, grammaticalized evidentiality and mirativity, and the semantics of rare verbal categories such as the deliberative (‘May I go?’), the noncurative (‘Let him go, I don’t care’), different types of habituals (gnomic, qualitative, non-generic), and perfective tenses (aorist, perfect, resultative). The book offers an overview of these features in order to gain a broader picture of the verbal semantics covering the whole North-East Caucasian family. At the same time it provides in-depth studies of the most fascinating phenomena.
After an introductory chapter that provides an overview to theoretical issues in tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality, this volume presents a variety of original contributions that are firmly empirically-grounded based on elicited or corpus data, while adopting different theoretical frameworks. Thus, some chapters rely on large diachronic corpora and provide new qualitative insight on the evolution of TAM systems through quantitative methods, while others carry out a collostructional analysis of past-tensed verbs using inferential statistics to explore the lexical grammar of verbs. A common goal is to uncover semantic regularities and variation in the TAM systems of the languages under study by taking a close look at context. Such a fine-grained approach contributes to our understanding of the TAM systems from a typological perspective. The focus on well-known Indo-European languages (e.g. French, German, English, Spanish) and also on less commonly studied languages (e.g. Hungarian, Estonian, Avar, Andi, Tagalog) provides a valuable cross-linguistic perspective.
The article deals with the problem of the author as the subject of consciousness expressed through the text in its entirety. Special emphasis is laid on modality revealed in the author’s evaluation of events, characters and the world in general.
Some properties of Russian modal constructions with reflexive verbs marked by -sja are discussed in the paper – in particular, modal passives (U menja diplom ne pišetsja – lit. ‘With me, graduataion paper is not being written’, i.e. ‘I do not make any progress with my graduation paperʼ) and modal impersonal passives. Firstly, the marking of the base subject is claimed to be only indirectly related to the transitivity of the base verb: Summaries and Keywords 782 in modern Russian, all theoretically possible combinations (u-phrase + transitive base verb, dative subject + intransitive base verb, as well as more rare u-phrase + intransitive base verb and dative subject + transitive base verb) can be observed. Secondly, in some contexts, such as questions like Chego tebe ne P ‘Why do not you P’ some restrictions on the use of impersonal modal constructions become less stringent.