Events

In certain environments, circumstantial modals have been observed to result in an entailment that the prejacent holds in the actual world. Several accounts of this actuality entailment have attempted to derive it from the aspectual and temporal properties of the modal and/or the prejacent (Hacquard, 2009; Kratzer, 2011; Homer, 2019; Mari, 2016; among others). None of the mentioned proposals account for all three of the following generalizations while predicting the correct truth-conditions for actualized modals: i) Actuality entailments are canceled when the prejacent is future-oriented with respect to the perspective of the modal; ii) Actuality entailments can be canceled when there is an additional layer of modality above the modal due to a generic or habitual imperfective; iii) When constructions resulting in actuality entailments are negated, a non-actuality entailment results. Building on Kratzer (2011), I argue that actuality entailments result from the triviality of the circumstantial modal base with respect to the prejacent when the latter is not future-oriented with respect to the modal perspective. I propose that the modality that remains present in actualized modals is due to a presupposition that a necessary and sufficient condition holds between the prejacent and the relevant modal counterpart of the prejacent, evaluated at some contextually determined past time. This proposal accounts for the generalizations above and successfully predicts the distribution of actuality entailments with both generic and episodic uses of the Palestinian/Lebanese Arabic circumstantial modal ʔɪdɪr.