Shifting modal domains: An imprecision-based account

Peter Klecha


This paper proposes that the interpretation of modals is subject to (im)precision (a la Lasersohn 1999), explaining certain
contextual domain shifting effects observed by Lewis (1979).


Bryan: This must be a pen – I'm looking right at it.
Alice: Not so; you could be the victim of a deceiving demon.

I argue that Alice raises the standard of precision in (1), thereby widening the domain of have to to include otherwise
ignorable worlds. This explains a number of similarities between domain shifting of the type in (1) and canonical cases of
imprecision, and simplifies the modal semantics.

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