This descriptive study focuses on the special verbal category of Alsatian modal auxiliaries with distinct syntactic characteristics. They include:[kena] (can), [mesda] (would like to), [vela] (want to), [darfa] (be allowed to), [sola] (ought to/must), and [mi:n] (must). These modals specify the speaker's point of view in regard to the reported event. They are able to express several levels of probability regarding the event's potential fulfillment. They form two lubcategories depending on the presence or absence of an external source of authority imposed on the agent. The deontic and epistemic meanings of Alsatian modals support Horn's (1972) hypothesis that the latter two meanings are semantically related.
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