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The Use of Modal Expression Preference as a Marker of Style and Attribution
The Case of William Tyndale and the 1533 English Enchiridion Militis Christiani
Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics - Volume 76
Can an author's preference for expressing modality be quantified and then used as a marker of attribution? This book explores the possibility of using the subjunctive mood as an indicator of style and a marker of authorship in Early Modern English texts. Using three works by the sixteenth-century biblical translator and polemicist, William Tyndale, Elizabeth Bell Canon establishes a predictable preference for certain types of modal expression. The theory of subjunctive use as a marker of attribution was then tested on the anonymous 1533 English translation of Erasmus' Enchiridion Militis Christiani. Also included in this book is a modern English spelling version Tyndale's The Parable of the Wicked Mammon.
The Author: Elizabeth Bell Canon holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Georgia. She is currently Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.