Modality in the nominal domain: Yalnhej DPs in Chuj

Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Justin Royer


How do modal expressions determine which possibilities they invoke? Do they do it the same way across categories? Recent work proposes that modal auxiliaries project the domain of possibilities that they quantify over from an event variable, which can get different values in different syntactic positions (Hacquard 2006, 2009, 2010, see also Kratzer 2013). Based on the behaviour of the Spanish random choice indefinite uno cualquiera, Alonso-Ovalle & Menéndez-Benito (2018) conclude that the same strategy is available for modal indefinites. This paper brings evidence from Chuj, an understudied Mayan language, which supports this conclusion further. The paper focuses on yalnhej DPs, a type of quantifier that makes a non-upper bound existential claim and that contributes a modal component with a flavour that depends on syntactic position.

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2022 Luis Alonso-Ovalle, Justin Royer