Two puzzles about deontic necessity

In J. Gajewski, V. Hacquard, B. Nickel & S. Yalcin (eds.), New Work on Modality, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (2005)
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Abstract

The deontic modal must has two surprising properties: an assertion of must p does not permit a denial of p, and must does not take past tense complements. I first consider an explanation of these phenomena that stays within Angelika Kratzer’s semantic framework for modals, and then offer some reasons for rejecting that explanation. I then propose an alternative account, according to which simple must sentences have the force of an imperative.

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Dilip Ninan
Tufts University

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