Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 175–180 | Cite as

Invariantist ‘might’ and modal meaning change

A reply to Braun (2012)
  • Igor YanovichEmail author
Research Article


Invariantism proposed by Braun (Linguistics and Philosophy 35(6):461–489, 2012) aims to maintain full identity of semantic content between all uses of ‘might’. I invoke well-known facts regarding diachronic change in meanings of modals to argue that invariantism commits us to implausible duplication of familiar processes of lexical semantic change on the level of “lexical pragmatics”, with no obvious payoff.


Modality Invariantism Contextualism Lexical pragmatics Modal meaning change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIT Linguistics and PhilosophyCambridgeUSA

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