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Insurbordination in the deontic domain: a semantic and constructional typology.

This project tackles the little-studied phenomenon of insubordination, focusing specifically on constructions with meanings in the deontic domain. Insubordinated constructions use markers normally associated with subordination, but function as independent clauses (Evans 2007: 367). An example is an if-clause expressing a request (e.g. If you could sign here). This project investigates two research questions. First, it examines the types of deontic meaning that can be expressed by insubordinated constructions and how these relate semantically to the classic core encoders of deontic meaning, like modal auxiliaries or verbal mood categories. Second, it compares insubordinated constructions with their subordinate counterparts, in order to see how deontic meaning arises from the component parts of insubordinated constructions. The hypotheses associated with these questions are: (i) that the meanings of interpersonal control expressed by insubordinated constructions differ from those conveyed by the core elements of the modal system, and that these additional meanings can be captured in terms of a new set of parameters that challenges traditional semantic analyses of deontic modality; (ii) that insubordinated constructions contain specific constructional features, such as, for instance, combinations of person categories and modal particles. I will investigate the two research questions in depth, using data from present-day Dutch and English spoken corpora, and in breadth, using data from a cross-linguistic sample.
Date:1 Oct 2010 →  30 Sep 2014
Keywords:Typology, Deontic modality, Insubordination, Interpersonal control, SUbordination, Germanic languages
Disciplines:Language studies, Linguistics