Invariantist ‘might’ and modal meaning change

A reply to Braun (2012)

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Igor Yanovich.

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Yanovich, I. Invariantist ‘might’ and modal meaning change. Linguist and Philos 36, 175–180 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-013-9133-5

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Keywords

  • Modality
  • Invariantism
  • Contextualism
  • Lexical pragmatics
  • Modal meaning change