Conditionals as attitude reports

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Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitude reports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitude reports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will win) translates into a factual report of a prospect-oriented attitudinal state (e.g. expectation or anxiety, see Bittner 2005). It is argued that in conditionals the antecedent introduces a topical subdomain of an input modal base (Kratzer 1981) and requires the consequent to comment. The comment is a factual report of an attitude to the topical antecedent sub-domain. [This paper was published in 2011 as "Time and modality without tenses or modals"]
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First archival date: 2012-10-12
Latest version: 3 (2013-10-11)
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