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Discourse-Initial Too and Epistemic ModalitySumiyo NishiguchiTokyo University of Science

Conjunctive adverb too (1)Kyoto is nice. Nara is nice, toomeaning of also felicitous only when it follows another sentence Kyoto is the antecedent for Nara

Discourse-initial too (2)It’s nice here, too.has not been discussed so farappears discourse-initially uttered unexpectedly without sounding remotely peculiarno antecedent no contrastive focus

Japanese discourse-initial mo ``too/also” (3)Yo-mo fuke-ta. night-also grow-PAST Mo neru-to shi-yo. already sleep-COMP do-let’s “It’s late, indeed. It’s time to go to bed.” There is no antecedent for yo “night”Yo “night” is not particularly contrasted with anything else

Japanese additive particle mo “too/also”(4) #(Kyoto-wa i-shi,) Kyoto-TOP good-and Nara-mo ii. Nara-also good “Kyoto is good and so is Nara.”Nara is contrasted with its antecedent KyotoRegular mo-sentences are felicitous only when they follow another sentence

Proposal: discourse-initial too is an epistemic necessity modal (epistemic must)an emphatic marker, similar to indeed or really.a sentential modal that associates with a whole proposition. (5)[| too |] = lp<s, t>. lw.w’.[wRw’ -> p(w’) = 1] (R: epistemic accessibility relation, w: possible world)

In all the worlds epistemically accessible from the actual world to the speaker, the proposition to which too is attached is true (Kratzer 1981). Speaker believes that the proposition holds true. The interpretation of (2) is true, if and only if the speaker believes that the location s/he is in is nice.

Romero and Han (2004) Really and indeed are epistemic adverbs which express the speaker’s evaluations. Nara is really good.(6) is true if Nara is good in any of the speaker’s belief world.

Given such a

meaning, the sentential modal too should take higher scope over the proposition

The syntactic structure of the expletive construction



PredP in base position. Nice and here are assumed to be raised higher so that too is spelled out in the lower position compared to them.

ELSJ Spring Forum 2011Shizuoka UniversityApril 24, 2011


(1986) attenuationTeramura (1984) admirationNo discussion about discourse-initial behavior of mo

Q: Why do discourse-initial too and mo “too” not require their antecedents?

TP It T’ T MODALP is Modal PredP too PredP AdvP <is> AP here nice


: This

paper presented an analysis of the novel use of


from semantic and syntactic perspectives




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