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Epistemic modal verbs
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Epistemic modal verbs do not allow the verb which they select to remain unexpressed.

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Modals may have either a deontic interpretation or an epistemic interpretation. Incidentally, the epistemic interpretation is hard to distinguish from an evidential interpretation, and it seems that a relation of pragmatic inference may hold between these two readings. Modals allow verb ellipsis in their deontic sense, but they do not allow it in their epistemic sense. An epistemic interpretation is often signalledd by discourse particle such as wolpossibly or risonce. The example in (1) illustrates an epistemic interpretation involving a conclusion with a certain degree of probability, or, subjectively perceived, a degree of confidence on the part of the speaker:

Example 1

a. *Annigje koe wol nei Grins ta
Annigje could DcP to Grins to
It seems that Annigje has gone to Grins
b. Annigje koe wol nei Grins ta wêze
Annigje could DcP to Grins to be
It seems that Annigje has gone to Grins
c. Annigje koe wol nei Grins ta gongen wêze
Annigje could DcP to Grins to gone be
It seems that Annigje has gone to Grins

It is not clear what the unelliptical counterpart of the ungrammatical sentence is. It could be a structure involving two elided verbs. It should be noted that to-infinitives fail to have an epistemic interpretation. The presence of the discourse particle wolpossibly or risonce does not automatically block verb ellipsis, seeing that the following examples are grammatical:

Example 2

a. Jouke wol noch wolris nei Grins ta
Jouke want yet possibly.once to Grins to
Jouke would like to visit Grins
b. Moast Jouke noris nei Grins ta, dan gong ik mei
must Jouke now.once to Grins to then went I along
If Jouke should go to Grins, then I would go along

The examples above do not have an epistemic interpretation, however.

References:
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