Chapter

Romanian ‘can’

Virginia Hill

in Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659203
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745188 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659203.003.0014

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Romanian ‘can’

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This chapter aims to establish the diachronic changes to the Romanian modal putea ‘can’. It is shown that the lexical verb putea has been re-analyzed in the context of sentential complementation, as a control verb 〉 raising verb 〉 modal auxiliary 〉 pragmatic marker. This re-analysis is applied to two syntactic patterns (i.e. mono-clausal and bi-clausal), yielding intra-clausal variation in Modern Romanian. Along these lines, the chapter accounts for a series of empirical puzzles w.r.t., the type of complements putea may have, and the ambiguous epistemic/deontic interpretation in apparently similar contexts.

Keywords: modal; can; sentential complements; pragmatic marker

Chapter.  6154 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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