Deconstructing The Opining Verbs

  • Melanie Bervoets
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 102)


To account for the characteristics of future-directed opining verbs observed in Chap.  2—including the kinds of eventualities the verbs can be used to describe, and the types of subjects and objects they can combine with—the most promising semantic analysis attributes to each verb both an episodic attestation element and a modal opinion term. Combining this with the desideratum from Chap.  3 for EXH to be able to combine directly with the modal, as well as independent evidence from the potential attachment sites of adverbials like again, entries inspired by Kratzer (Decomposing attitude verbs. In: Talk in honor of A. Mittwoch. The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 2006) and Hacquard (Nat Lang Semant 18:79–114, 2010) can be fleshed out in such a way that each of the two elements is exposed within the semantic structure. The modal details will vary from verb to verb, both in terms of force and modal background. The attestation element will make the verbs episodic, and so combination with a dispositional operator, HAB, is required to get the attitude-like manifestations of the verbs. The establishment of such dispositional opinions will align the future-directed opining verbs with other opining verbs, but contrast them with other submission verbs, a situation that can be tied to the presence of lexically encoded opinion. Finally, clearly laying out the semantic details attributed to the verbs highlights an additional advantages of adopting the analysis outlined in Chap.  2, one that stems from the verbs’ modality.


Opinion verbs Propositional attitude verbs Intensionality Habituality Free choice Semantic decomposition Dispositions Speech reporting verbs Proffering verbs 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Bervoets
    • 1
  1. 1.TorontoCanada

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