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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the development of mood in child language. The chapter begins with a discussion of the various overlapping terms used in the field: mood, modality, modal verbs, realis, irrealis, epistemic, deontic, etc. The chapter moves on to survey naturalistic and experimental research in the area, as well as data from several well-known languages. These data suggest that children are initially predisposed to mark modal distinctions in some manner or the other, in line with the Primacy of Mood Hypothesis.

Keywords: mood, modality, subjunctive, indicative, imperative, realis, irrealis, root infinitive, optional infinitive

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