Syntactic structure and modal interpretationthe case of basque "behar"

Supervised by:
  1. Myriam Uribe-Etxebarria Goti Director
  2. Ricardo Etxepare Director

Defence university: Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

Fecha de defensa: 09 March 2018

  1. Xabier Artiagoitia Beaskoetxea Chair
  2. Urtzi Etxeberria Otaegi Secretary
  3. Céline Mounole Hiriart-Urruty Committee member
  1. Lingüística y Estudios Vascos

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 146614 DIALNET lock_openADDI editor


This dissertation is an investigation of the syntactic structure and modal interpretation of clauses involving the denominal necessity predicate behar `need¿ and an infinitival complement. On the one hand, it analyses the syntactic status of non-finite complements of denominal behar by examining their interaction with syntactic phenomena sensitive to different structural and locality conditions, and concludes that the infinitival complements of behar can correspond to different underlying structures. The largest type of infinitive is a non-restructuring infinitive that projects a full clausal architecture (i.e. a CP), and the smallest one is a reduced restructuring infinitive that projects up to vP. There is evidence for intermediate types projecting up to the inflectional domain (IP/TP). On the other hand, the dissertation examines the thematic and scope properties of the subjects in each of the different structural types and the modal interpretation that they can give rise to. On the basis of this analysis it is argued that modal interpretation is not constrained by any single factor (the presence of restructuring, the referential status of the subject and its relative scope vis-à-vis the modal predicate, among other frequently mentioned ones), but depends on the cumulative effect of several factors working together. The dissertation also shows the necessity of adopting a more fine-grained view of root modality, one that allows a simpler mapping of syntactic structures into modal meanings.