"Shouldn't ought"--and "might oughta"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Aug 2 15:37:06 UTC 2005

>Laurence Horn wrote:
>>I don't have "might oughta" either, and do have "shouldn't oughta" at
>>least passively, but my inference from the field work and reading I
>>did once on multiple modal dialects is that "might" in modal
>>sequences virtually always (i) occurs first in the sequence and (ii)
>>is paraphrasable by "maybe" or "perhaps", as a wide-scope epistemic.
>>So this would be "Mebbe you (etc.) oughta..."
>I'm currently looking at bits of speech, and found "would might" in a
>recorded lecture by Paul Krugman on social security a minute ago:
>And you would might wanna ask you know do- do we have an - are we in
>general raising enough money as a government to pay for hurricane relief
I'd suspect a performance error here, rather than a dialect trait.
I'd wager this would (might) be edited out of a written version, or
even a repeated oral one.


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