deontic "will"

Enrique L. Palancar Vizcaya epalancar at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 8 01:28:25 UTC 2001

Dear all,

This is a slight correction to Volker Gast's mail on Mexican Spanish
concerning the "will" discussion:

>A sub-standard variety of Mexican Spanish spoken in Southern Mexico
>(Chiapas) has exactly the same construction:

>(1) Este carro quiere lavado. "This car has to be washed."
>(2) Quiere que vayas tu mismo. "You have to go yourself."

The translation of (1) "to be washed" may lead to believe that "lavado" is a
past participle. It is a verbal-noun translatable as "(a)washing". As for
the deontic nuance from (2) I'm not able to say anything at the moment, but
I'd love  to see in context so to understand its behavior.

Enrique Palancar

>In all likeliness, this construction is copied either from Tzotzil
>(Mayan) or from Zoque (Mixe-Zoque), both of which regularly use
>the verb "k'an" (to want, love) to express deontic modality:
>(3) Sk'an ti cha'abteje ('You have to work', lit. 'It wants that you
>(4) Sk'an jtijtik ti jbintike. ('We have to beat our drums', lit. 'It
>wants we beat our pots')
>As far as I know, Tzotzil also has the construction "k'an + passive
>participle" (like in your Sardinian example "La casa vuole pagata"), but I
>would have to look at my corpus in order to find some examples.
>(5) Shunba wa'y mangu tyu'nisu. ('He has to go and see her', lit.'It wants
>that go(aux) he sees her')
>(from Harrison et al. (1981: 156), Diccionario Zoque de Copainalá, ILV.)
>Volker Gast
>FU Berlin
>Institut für Englische Philologie
>Goßlerstraße 2-4
>14195 Berlin
>Tel.: 030/838 72314

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list