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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2008

A Pragmatic Account of the Hindi Presumptive


Taking Hindi presumptive modality as a case study, this paper argues that modality is detrimental in an overall organization of the tense-aspect system in languages in which these categories are marked, although only tense and aspect categories have attracted much attention in linguistic research. The paper analyzes different usages of the future form of the Hindi verb honā 'to be' – both as a simple and an auxiliary verb – to ascertain its real modal meanings. Contrary to the widely-held view, this verb form may very rarely refer to situations which are to hold at a point in time subsequent to speech time, as the term 'future' may require. The paper claims that a better understanding of the role played by modality can open up a new chapter in the pragmatics of the tense-aspect system. The absence or presence of one of the tense-aspect categories in a language cannot be simply considered to be just a matter of chance. Rather, it should be an indicator of different pragmatic factors which are operational in the tense-aspect system of that language.


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hal-01386175 , version 1 (23-10-2016)



Ghanshyam Sharma. A Pragmatic Account of the Hindi Presumptive. Rajendra Singh. Annual Review of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 2008, Mouton de Gruyter pp.83-116, 2008, 978-3-11-021150-4. ⟨10.1515/9783110211504.1.83⟩. ⟨hal-01386175⟩
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