Klecha, Peter. 2014. Modifying modality. In Jyoti Iyer and Leland Kusmer (eds.), Proceedings of NELS 44: Volume 2
, pp. 219-232. GLSA.
modality, modification, gradable modality
This paper seeks to initiate serious inquiry into a category of expressions which I call modifiers of modal auxiliaries (MMAs), by examining a case study, the modifier easily
. I argue that easily
is a measure function over worlds, essentially a gradable accessibility relation. I provide a syntax in which the modal base is represented in the syntax as a covert pronoun; easily
then combines with this pronoun by a generalized predicate modification rule to induce domain restriction.