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Book Sections Year : 2017

SHOULD In Conditional Clauses

Lionel Dufaye
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SHOULD can have two seemingly opposite epistemic values, depending on whether it occurs in a conditional clause or in a main clause: Labour should win the election. If Labour should win the election, what would you do? In the first example, SHOULD expresses both likelihood and the positive expectation of a Labour victory; conversely, in the second example SHOULD carries both a sense of unlikelihood and the negative apprehension of a Labour victory. I propose to account for this semantic alternation by a two-pronged approach: on the one hand, SHOULD will be analyzed as a marker that expresses the speaker’s point of view by qualifying the event as epistemically (un)expected and/or subjectively (un)desirable. On the other hand, IF-conditional clauses will be analyzed as suspending the speaker’s endorsement. The combination of the two results in the primary value of SHOULD being reversed.


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Dates and versions

hal-01541921 , version 1 (19-06-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01541921 , version 1


Lionel Dufaye. SHOULD In Conditional Clauses: When Epistemicity Meet Appreciative Modality. Vers Une Typologie des modalités, 2017, Vers Une Typologie des modalités. ⟨hal-01541921⟩
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