(De)coding Modality
The Case of Must, May, Maste & Kan
Lund Studies in English, No. 113

By Anna Warnsby
December 2006
Lund University
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9197515825
238 pages, 5 7/8 x 8 3/4"
$87.50 Paper Original

This book makes a contribution to the field of modality studies by discussing the mechanisms involved in the interpretation of utterances containing modal verbs. The empirical study discussed in the first part of this book is based on a large number of authentic examples extracted from the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus.

The influence of a number of contextual features related to the compositional notion of Controllability is investigated in great detail. The second part reports the results of a Data Mining analysis, undertaken to reveal the statistically significant patterns of distribution of the relevant features with respect to the interpretation.

The Data Mining analysis also serves to establish how the features related to Controllability combine to give rise to the intended interpretation. The analysis demonstrates that the features constituting Controllability systematically play a role in the interpretation of utterances containing the English modals "must" and "may" and the Swedish modals "maste" and "kan".

This book is of interest to anyone working with modality, the interplay between modal verbs and various contextual features, or the application of Data Mining within the field of linguistics.


Return to Coronet Books main page