We are kicking off the winter quarter with a joint presentation by Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago) and Alda Mari (Institut Jean Nicod).
SPEAKERS: Anastasia Giannakidou and Alda Mari
TITLE: ‘The future in Greek and Italian: metaphysical and epistemic dimensions’
DATE: Friday 11/16
LOCATION: Rosenwald 208
TIME: 11:30 am – 1:20 pm
While the question of whether future morphemes in languages denote temporal or modal operators has been central in formal semantics, most analyses agree that such morphemes convey modality, and do not simply make reference to future times. The modality is often assumed to be purely metaphysical (e.g. Thomason 1984, Kaufmann, 2005). In this paper, we present novel data from Greek and Italian showing a systematic availability of purely epistemic readings with the future morphemes (FUT) alongside the predictive readings. We propose a fully Kratzerian account (following closely Portner 2009), and argue for a common semantic core. FUT is nonveridical in both cases: the modal space is partitioned into p and ¬p worlds, and FUT universally quantifies over the Best p worlds established by the ordering sources, which are reasonability and knowledge relevant to the sentence (called the future criterion). With universal quantification over Best worlds an underlying bias is revealed towards those worlds; therefore in our analysis the future is both weak (nonveridical metaphysical and epistemic space) and strong, because of the bias. Our analysis enriches the metaphysical modality of the future with epistemic components, captures the common core of the predictive and epistemic FUT, and provides simple tools for dealing both with the novel facts of Greek and Italian, as well as apparent Moore paradoxical effects observed with future expressions and MUST.
If you’d like to read the paper (and some further background reading), here are links:
The Future in Greek and Italian: metaphysical and epistemic dimensions
Biased modality and epistemic weakness with the future and MUST: non veridicality, partial knowledge