University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper is concerned with the fine-grained representation of priorities in goal-oriented modal discourse. The question of how priorities are represented is evaluated in the context of the domain restriction approach to weak necessity (von Fintel and Iatridou 2008), which assumes a contextual split between primary and secondary priorities. It is argued that this approach is not complete without an elucidation of how the distinction between primary and secondary priorities is made, and that existing proposals do not provide an adequate characterization of this fine-grained distinction.