Probability and necessity in English and German

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We take two of the strongest recent analyses of SHOULD and MUST and ask whether they can be applied to modals in German. The ultimate goal is a framework for modality which will have cross-linguistic validity instead of being tailor-made for English. The method, which is part of a larger contrastive project, is to examine the translation equivalents of the English modals in the INTERSECT English-German translation corpus. We find that MUST AND MÜSSEN can be treated in similar ways, but that this is not the case for SHOULD and SOLLEN. We tentatively conclude that the analysis of Larreya and Rivière (1999) has fewer disadvantages than that of Groefsema (1995), though both have problems when extended beyond English.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation structure in a cross-linguistic perspective
EditorsH. Hasselgard, S. Johansson, B. Behrens
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9042014695
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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