Oodham cemReport as inadecuate

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1 SFL - Structures Formelles du Langage

Abstract : The particle cem in Tohono O-odham (an Uto-Aztecan language also known as -Papago-) has two primary readings: unachieved-goal and non-continuation. This paper proposes a single meaning for these two readings: A cem p sentence presupposes that all worlds in which things proceed normally - i.e., inertia worlds - are p worlds, and asserts that the actual world is not an inertia world. Inertia can make reference either to physical forces, in which case the non-continuation reading results, or to intentions, in which case the unachieved-goal reading results. To place this modal in cross-linguistic context, I argue that cem behaves like other modals in several ways, including its treatment of physical forces and intentions as formally similar entities.

Keywords : O-odham modality inertia worlds

Author: Bridget Copley -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/


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