Modal verbs in academic papers in the field of tourism

Francisco J. Álvarez-Gil, Elena Domínguez Morales

Resumen


The present study deals with modal verb meanings and variation concerning these verbs in a corpus of texts in the field of tourism. For this, we will use a compilation of article introductions and conclusions written in English and published in specialized leading journals on tourism. Modal verbs are important to evince the authors’ stance concerning the propositional content (Palmer, 2001; Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad & Finegan, 1999). Our main areas of concern are a) the modal meanings that are more likely to occur in the texts compiled, and b) the differences there are between the use of modal verbs in introductions and in conclusions in this respect. Research will be performed using corpus tools for text analysis and retrieval. Variation ratios will be evaluated according to a log-likelihood test in order to determine significance of variation according to whether specific modal meanings happen in the introductions or in the conclusions. Conclusions will include information regarding frequencies of occurrence, variation as to the modal meanings preferred per article section, i.e. introduction and conclusion, and the pragmatic functions developed by the use of modal verbs in these sections of the academic papers.


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