Date: Fri, 1 Jul 1994 11:12:12 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: Double modals in Utah In Message Fri, 1 Jul 1994 16:02:00 +1200, "George Halliday 09483-9039" writes: >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. ... >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. I agree with the observation that a subset of modals in English are associated with some morphosyntactic peculiarities but not with the stipulation that the class is morphosyntactically defined or based. Note that by your criteria "ought [to]" and perhaps "used [to]" qualify as modals, just like "must" and "may" but all these verbs do not have the same morphosyntactic peculiarities. For one thing, they have different patterns of complementation. In following your position we might wind up with a a very small subset of verbs that behave alike but exclude a bunch of others that express modality. Salikoko S. Mufwene Linguistics, U. of Chicago s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531