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Denominal necessity modals in Basque

Abstract : Basque has a noun meaning "need" and a modal form, traditionally classified as verbal, homophonous to it, as in English. This paper provides a derivational account of the relation between the nominal and the so-called verbal "need" in Basque, by claiming that the purported verbal cases are derived from the nominal ones. This derivational relation, we argue, does not follow from the incorporation of Basque need into a verbal head, as has been recently claimed for English need. The necessity modal forms an independent clausal constituent with a DP or a non-finite clause representing the content of the need as its sole argument. This clausal constituent is merged to a high applicative head that introduces in the structure the experiencer of the need. The Basque modal construction resembles in this regard the nominal modal constructions found in some of the celtic languages such as Irish or Scottish Gaelic. This structure is merged with an intransitive verb BE, which provides the verbal support for the construction. The incorporation of the applicative head to BE results in the transitive auxiliary have in Basque, a phenomenon that is independently attested outside the modal cases.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 23, 2011 - 9:48:36 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 7, 2022 - 5:24:33 PM
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  • HAL Id : artxibo-00654937, version 1


Ricardo Rikardo, R. Etxepare, Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria. Denominal necessity modals in Basque. Urtzi Etxeberria, Ricardo Etxepare and Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria. DPs and Nominalizations in Basque, John Benjamins, 2011. ⟨artxibo-00654937⟩



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