Learner corpus & modal verbs: Evaluating the writing of Brazilian researchers in English

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Corpus-based studies allow researchers to investigate language in use and not models of language. Following the principles of Corpus Linguistics, this study aims at analyzing the modal verbs which are used by Brazilian researchers from the fields of Linguistics and Literature when writing scientific articles in English. To this end, a research corpus was compiled from 49 articles, totaling 208,614 tokens and 12,791 types. This study covers the usage of nine modal verbs - 'can', 'could', 'may', 'might', 'shall', 'should', 'will', 'would' and 'must'. The profile traced in this research is compared to the one by Biber et al. (1999) in their description of academic prose in the English language. The results indicate how close the writing of the two groups of subjects is, thus possibly indicating subjects' proficiency in English.
Translated title of the contributionLearner corpus & modal verbs: Evaluating the writing of Brazilian researchers in English
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationTextos e leituras
Subtitle of host publicationEstudos empíricos de língua e literatura
EditorsSonia Zyngier, Vander Viana, Juliana Jandre
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro
PublisherPublit
Pages65-88
ISBN (Print)9788577730414
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Corpus linguistics
  • English as a foreign language
  • Modal verbs
  • Learner corpus
  • Academic prose
  • Corpus analysis

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