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Source of modality: a reassessment1


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.

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English Language & Linguistics
  • ISSN: 1360-6743
  • EISSN: 1469-4379
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