double modals (was: fronted /oU/)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 5 09:30:25 UTC 2000

>"And by the way, I heard my first clear  double modal from an Athenian just
>the other day--"might could"!"
>Does this mean 'I am willing to do it, provided I have the means and
>motivation to do it'?
Actually, the "might" in this case is always (as far as I know)
epistemic, and could be replaced by the semantically equivalent
"maybe" or "perhaps".  "I might could do it" is basically equivalent
to "Perhaps I could do it".  In the double modal dialects I'm aware
of, epistemic "might" will typically if not always show up as the
first in a string of two or three modals.


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