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Variation in Central Modals

A Repertoire of Forms and Types of Usage in Middle English and Early Modern English


Maurizio Gotti, Marina Dossena, Richard Dury and Roberta Facchinetti

This volume presents the results of a research team of the University of Bergamo, whose aim was the analysis of verbal modality in the Helsinki corpus. This corpus includes a large selection of texts compiled in Middle English and Early Modern English and offers a good diatypic coverage, as it contains a wide range of text-types, genres and registers.
Within a common methodological framework, individual chapters measure and analyze the occurrence and semantic values of central modal verbs, relating them to such parameters as text type, speech-relatedness and pragmatic function.
This research project is part of a wider national project aiming to register and comment on the formal variety of modal manifestations and their relative frequency in a range of texts covering approximately four centuries, from about 1300 to 1700.
Contents: English Linguistics – History of the English Language – Modal Verbs – Dynamic, Epistemic, Deontic Modality and Meanings – Verb Phrase Structure.