Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 487–525 | Cite as

Judge dependence, epistemic modals, and predicates of personal taste

  • Tamina StephensonEmail author
Research Article


Predicates of personal taste (fun, tasty) and epistemic modals (might, must) share a similar analytical difficulty in determining whose taste or knowledge is being expressed. Accordingly, they have parallel behavior in attitude reports and in a certain kind of disagreement. On the other hand, they differ in how freely they can be linked to a contextually salient individual, with epistemic modals being much more restricted in this respect. I propose an account of both classes using Lasersohn’s (Linguistics and Philosophy 28: 643–686, 2005) “judge” parameter, at the same time arguing for crucial changes to Lasersohn’s view in order to allow the extension to epistemic modals and address empirical problems faced by his account.


Epistemic modals Predicates of personal taste Context dependency Relativism Attitude reports 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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