Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 09:36:23 -0400

From: "E. Wayles Browne" ewb2[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CORNELL.EDU

Subject: Re: may/might distinction

I've used minimal pairs like

(1) He {might/could} have won but he didn't.

(2) #He may have won but he didn't.

(3) It was possible for him to win but he didn't.

(4) #It's possible that he won but he didn't.

for many years in my semantics and pragmatics classes to illustrate the

difference between logical and epistemic possibility.

Larry, do you mean that students are losing the difference between

1 and 2, but still preserve the difference between 3 and 4?

Wayles Browne, Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics

Department of Linguistics

Morrill Hall, Cornell University

Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A.

tel. 607-255-0712 (o), 607-273-3009 (h)

fax 607-255-2044 (write FOR W. BROWNE)

e-mail ewb2[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (1989 to 1993 was: jn5j[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]cornella.bitnet //