Author: Zhang, Ying
Title: Modal verb use in stance-taking : a comparative corpus-based study
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2013
Subject: English language -- Modality.
English language -- Verb.
English language -- Study and teaching -- Chinese speakers.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of English
Pages: v, 84 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: English modal verbs as dominant devices in expressing personal propositions are proved to be noticeably problematic for second language students. Comparative research has been conducted on the use of modals regarding socio-cultural frameworks and strategies for making requests between NSs and NSSs groups, which settled the vibrant scope for investigation. This paper examines and elaborates the use of nine central modals in stance-taking by US university students and Tertiary-level Chinese learners of English. The comparison adopts a corpus-based approach, which contains quantitative analysis regarding distributions of the overall profile, patterns of use and semantic categories of modals, accompanying with qualitative scrutiny of generalized and specified illustrations extracted from subcorpora of LOCNESS and CLEC. In accordance with previous studies, the results demonstrate distinctive employments of modal verbs by the two groups. In particular, circumstances of Chinese students overusing or underusing certain modals are explored, with the probable factors of (1) language proficiency including grammatical competence, semantic misconception and pragmatic inadequacy, (2) L1 transfer such as collocating two modal verbs and unnecessary clusters of modals, as well as (3) the cultural influence reflected in the pragmatic use like strong obligation and excessive preference of combining modals with personal pronouns. Thus some teaching implications are correspondingly proposed to adjust to the demands of improvement for Chinese learners.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
b2687605x.pdfFor All Users (off-campus access for PolyU Staff & Students only)1.55 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Copyright Undertaking

As a bona fide Library user, I declare that:

  1. I will abide by the rules and legal ordinances governing copyright regarding the use of the Database.
  2. I will use the Database for the purpose of my research or private study only and not for circulation or further reproduction or any other purpose.
  3. I agree to indemnify and hold the University harmless from and against any loss, damage, cost, liability or expenses arising from copyright infringement or unauthorized usage.

By downloading any item(s) listed above, you acknowledge that you have read and understood the copyright undertaking as stated above, and agree to be bound by all of its terms.

Show full item record

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: