Patrice Larroque Paul Valery University Montpellier “The Representation of Modality in Non-Standard English.”


Among the possibilities given to a speaker to express his/her subjectivity, there are often unexploited traces in utterances that may be of linguistic interest. The description of these marks shows that modality takes on various forms which are distinct from the usual phonological and syntactic types. Apart from double modal constructions which can be described as the result of epistemic modality in conjunction with root modality, this paper analyses the colloquial use of ever, kind/sort of, like, happen as they occur in informal speech. Such formulaic expressions are modal forms which signal an attitude toward a proposition and point to the concept of speaker involvement in utterances. These features, moreover, give the utterer’s speech a personal touch and vary according to his/her own language use.

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