Modal auxiliaries can generate two desiderative readings: strong (1) and weak (2) desiderativity. These differ notably in whether they express strict preference and whether they are felicitous out of the blue.(1) (A: Cookie anyone?) B: I would like/enjoy a cookie.(2) #(A: Cookie anyone?) B: I would/might have/take/eat a cookie.We provide an analysis that accounts for the contrast by introducing 1) a comparison operator ≥ as part of the subjective morphology that can be pragmatically strengthened to &gt; and 2) a criterion determining how alternative situations are introduced for comparison which allows introduction by evaluatives (<em>like</em>, <em>enjoy</em>).
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