Fourth year graduate student Gérard Avelino gave a talk titled ‘Shifty modal meaning in Tagalog embedded clauses‘ at APLL -15, held in Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Abstract: Tagalog (Philippines), has a rich variety of adverbial particles that appear in a second-position clitic cluster. Schachter & Otanes (1972) list 18 of these, a class of words so far underdescribed in the syntax-semantics literature. I show that many of these particles are modals and perspective-sensitive items. This talk in particular focuses on optative particle sana, mirative particle palá, assertion particle kayâ, and dubitative marker yatà. By default, their meanings hinge on the perspective of the speaker of the utterance. However, in embedded clauses, the perspective holder is no longer the speaker but the agent of the matrix verb. These observations pattern well with current analyses of PSIs like subjective predicates, epistemic modals, and perspectival anaphora in other languages.