Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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Linguistic modality is the expression of the speaker’s subjectivity including possibility, probability, necessity, obligation, permission, prohibition, and desire. This paper analyses a learner English corpus collected at two Spanish universities, paying special attention to which linguistic devices (e.g., modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs or nouns) English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students make use of when providing for and against arguments in their assignments. Applying a corpus-based methodology not only enabled comparisons to be made with other native and non-native data but also facilitated both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The findings show remarkable similarities and differences, and leave several issues at stake: the relationship between the degree of assertiveness of a text and (1) the student’s gender, (2) their command of the Foreign Language (FL), and (3) their familiarity with the genre they are expected to write in.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): corpus methodology; gender; learner language; linguistic modality
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