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(Non)veridicality, Evaluation, and Event Actualization: Evidence from the Subjunctive in Relative Clauses

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Chapter Summary

In recent works, veridicality and nonveridicality have been proposed to regulate a number of limited distribution phenomena such as negative polarity item (NPI) licensing, free choice indefinites, mood selection and the so-called polarity subjunctive, expletive negation, the genitive of negation in Russian, to mention just some studies. This chapter addresses the relation of veridicality, existence, and actuality by studying a particular polarity item: the subjunctive relative clause. It first describes the basic ideas about mood selection and nonveridicality from the author's earlier work, in order to show that the subjunctive depends on a nonveridical licenser. Then the chapter moves on to the subjunctive in relative clauses. The subjunctive has an evaluative, epistemic weakening affect. This effect is to express the speaker's attitude of uncertainty as to the existence of a referent. The discussion concludes with the progressive and TRY.

Keywords: epistemic weakening affect; European languages; negative polarity item (NPI) licensing; nonveridicality; subjunctive relative clause



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