The subjunctive vs. modal auxiliaries
The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of <i>lest</i>-clauses in Late Middle English (LME) prose texts, using a corpus-based approach. In <i>lest</i>-clauses, there are two options for the verb forms: the subjunctive or modal auxiliaries (e.g. <i>He wrote the telephone number down lest he</i> forget/should forget <i>it</i>). This paper focuses on the distribution of the subjunctive and modal auxiliaries and discusses the factors that affect their distributional tendencies: type of clauses (adverbial/complement), genre of texts (religious, fiction, letters, etc.) and the difference between written and spoken materials.