Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 16:02:00 +1200


Subject: Re: Double modals in Utah

Defining Modals

Within the context of this thread, modals are assumed to be

a small set of verbs defined by both their morphology and syntactic

behaviour. Morphologically these verbs lack particples and the

third person singular form in -s.

Need, and dare are modals in some dialects but not in others.

S. Mufwene gives two example sentences showing this variation

in need - the sentence with do support not having need as a

modal in this sense.

Be and have too, are not modals in this sense ever. Although of

course the term modal is sometimes used in a semantic sense and

in this sense has some cross-linguistic validity. That usage is

perfectly legitimate but not the way I understood the term to be

used in this thread. Sorry to be so long-winded - a clarification

was sought.

George Halliday