University of Antwerp
This investigation has two components. (1) An analysis of the Dutch modal auxiliaries, in order to determine (the relations between) their syntactic and semantic properties. (2) An analysis of alternative expressions for the dynamic, deontic and epistemic uses of the modals, in order to determine their syntactic and functional properties, in contrast to those of the modals. The method of investigation is corpus analysis. The theoretical goal is to improve our understanding of how the modal auxiliaries and alternative expressions should be handled in a cognitively and functionally plausible grammar theory.