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A study of the semantic characteristics of the modal auxiliaries may and might in Scots

Akimoto, Jun (2010) A study of the semantic characteristics of the modal auxiliaries may and might in Scots. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Scots has developed differently from Standard English. The use of modal auxiliaries in Present-Day Scots seems to be different from Present-Day Standard English. In this paper the semantics of MAY and MIGHT in Scots are studied. Several studies of Scots, for instance Miller (2003) and Kirk (1987), show that the use of MAY is avoided in Scots. This paper aims to reveal whether or not this MAY-avoidance can be found in late Middle Scots, especially in the second half of the period (1640-1700). All tables, figures and sample sentences in this paper are derived from several corpora, the Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots and the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech (SCOTS) or several dictionaries, e.g. Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Dictionary of the Scottish Language (DSL) The frequency of MAY-avoidance in late Middle Scots is calculated, using those corpora and concordance software. Firstly the semantics of MAY is summarised. In chapter 1, many modal senses of MAY/MIGHT are categorised in three main modal senses (deontic, root possibility and epistemic). Next, examples of MAY/MIGHT, which are derived from the corpora are analysed and three modal senses of MAY/MIGHT, which are defined in the previous chapter are identified the examples. In chapter3, the analysed materials are studied statistically. Three genres in the Helsinki Corpus of Older Scots, i.e. sermon, diary and handbook, are mainly treated.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: Modal auxiliary, Modality, Scots, Middle Scots, Early modern English, Middle English, Semantics, Corpus,
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Prof. Jeremy
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Mr. Jun Akimoto
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1615
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 May 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:44
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1615

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