Modals and Quasi-modals in English


Modals and Quasi-modals in English reports the findings of a corpus-based study of the modals and a set of semantically-related ‘quasi-modals’ in English. The study is the largest and most comprehensive to date in this area, and is informed by recent developments in the study of modality, including grammaticalization and recent diachronic change. The selection of the parallel corpora used, representing British, American and Australian English, was designed to facilitate the exploration of both regional and stylistic variation.

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Peter Collins is Associate Professor in Linguistics and Head of the Linguistics Department at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is a former editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics, and helped compile the first corpus of Australian English. He has published widely in corpus linguistics and descriptive grammar.
”This book is an excellent and timely quantitative study, and a solid starting point for further research” in: English Language and Linguistics, Vol. 17/1 (2013)
Theoretical preliminaries
Necessity and obligation
Possibility, permission and ability
Prediction and volition