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LINGUIST List 21.3479

Tue Aug 31 2010

Confs: English, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics/UK

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <brunettlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Emma uelle Labeau, The Evolution of the Modals and Quasi-modals in New Englishes

Message 1: The Evolution of the Modals and Quasi-modals in New Englishes
Date: 31-Aug-2010
From: Emma uelle Labeau <E.labeauaston.ac.uk>
Subject: The Evolution of the Modals and Quasi-modals in New Englishes
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The Evolution of the Modals and Quasi-modals in New Englishes

Date: 18-Apr-2011 - 20-Apr-2011
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Contact: Dirk Noel
Contact Email: dnoelhkucc.hku.hk
Meeting URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Semantics; Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Meeting Description:

Panel 5: The Evolution of the Modals and Quasi-modals in New Englishes
Dirk Noël (The University of Hong Kong) & Johan van der Auwera (University of

Theme and Purpose of the Panel:

The purpose of this panel is to explore to what extent the significant decline
in the frequency of use of modal auxiliaries and the concomitant rise in the
frequency of so-called 'quasi-modals' that has been observed to be taking place
in British and American English (Leech 2003) is also occurring in New Englishes,
and to consider explanations for possible differences in this respect between
'inner' and 'outer circle' varieties of English. Both morphosyntactic factors
and semantic/pragmatic factors linked up with societal changes have been adduced
as explanations for the dwindling frequency of the modals (will, would, shall,
should, can, could, may, might, must, need, ought) and the emergence of the
quasi-modals (be able to, be about to, be bound to, be expected to, be going to,
be guaranteed to, be meant to, be supposed to, be to, have to, have got to, need
to, want to) in inner circle Englishes, specifically British and American
English (Myhill 1995, Leech 2003, Smith 2003, Nokkonen 2006). If modals and
quasi-modals turn out to be evolving differently in outer circle Englishes, as
previous research appears to suggest (notably Collins 2009a), this could be due
to differences in the societal context in which these Englishes function,
including their modes of transmission, or to substrate languages exerting an
influence on these largely non-native varieties (cf. Lim & Gisborne 2009).

Scientific Committee:

-TBCPeter Collins, University of New South Wales (p.collinsunsw.edu.au)
-Marianne Hundt, University of Zurich (mhundtes.uzh.ch)
-Gerald Nelson, Chinese University of Hong Kong (geraldanelsongmail.com)
-Valerie Youssef, University of the West Indies (Valerie.Youssefsta.uwi.edu)
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