This study is concerned with the use of the English core modals (may, might, can, could, shall, should, will, would and must) in syntactically dependent co-texts (adverbial clauses, relative clauses and complement clauses). The study employs synchronic data from the British National Corpus (BNC, 100m) and quantitative corpus-based methods to investigate similarities and differences between the core modals, as well as modal-specific preferences with respect to form and meaning in subordinate clauses. The study proceeds from a monofactorial analysis (with modal verb and clause type being the two core variables) to a multifactorial analysis (with categories such as voice and grammatical aspect being investigated).
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