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Evolutionary Syntax

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

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Academic Paper

Title: Source of modality: a reassessment
Author: Ilse Depraetere
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Université Charles-de-Gaulle
Author: An Verhulst
Institution: Université Catholique de Louvain
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics; Semantics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article offers a description of the sources associated with the necessities expressed by 'have to' and 'must' in the ICE-GB corpus. It provides detailed comments on semantic and pragmatic features of the different sources, which are shown to be more diverse than has previously been claimed. The corpus analysis proves that the traditional distinction in meaning between so-called ‘objective’ 'have' to' and ‘subjective’ 'must' is not as outspoken as is assumed, and therefore results in a more accurate description of the similarities and differences in meaning between the two modal markers.


This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 12, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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