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A Corpus-Based Study of the Use of Modal Verbs in Online News Comments
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates the use of modal auxiliary verbs in online news comments (YNACC) relative to spoken interaction (SBCSAE) and three written registers (COCA). The central research question that is addressed in the present study is the extent to which the frequency and distribution of modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs in the register of online news comments are different from those of the spoken and the written registers. The findings of this study indicate that online news comments exhibit higher frequencies of central modal auxiliaries in comparison to spoken interaction and the written registers, not only in regard to the overall distribution of the central modals, but also in regard to the individual distribution of the frequently used will, can, would, and especially should. The findings of this study also indicate that online news comments seem to have adopted the use of semi-modal auxiliaries such as have to and want to from spoken interaction to a much larger extent than the written registers, but that there is no evidence indicating that reductions (i.e. “gonna”, “wanna”, and “gotta”) are in the process of being adopted. The present study is able to demonstrate that there are a number of significant variations in the overall frequency and distribution of the modal and semi-modal auxiliary verbs. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 46
Keywords [en]
corpus linguistics, register variation, register analysis, register features, frequency, distribution, stance, modal auxiliary verbs, modals, semi-modals, online news comments.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157078DiVA, id: diva2:1215404
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Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-06-08 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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