Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1876-1933
  • E-ISSN: 1876-1941
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The goal of this paper is to present the results of a corpus analysis aimed at identifying n-grams (i.e., lexical sequences) with the modals , and . While details about the functional profile of these verbs are still being discussed (e.g., Leclercq & Depraetere 2022), it is surprising that relatively scarce attention is given to the lexico-grammatical patterns in which they are found and which come with their own semantic and pragmatic features. Using the methodology developed in Cappelle and Depraetere (2016b), a total of 1,640 n-grams were extracted from COCA (Davies 2008-). A number of these patterns are discussed and, in keeping with the approach developed in Construction Grammar (Hilpert 2019), it is shown that an enhanced understanding of these verbs can be achieved when viewed as part of more complex networks of constructions.


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