If-conditionals and Modality: Frequency patterns and theoretical explanations

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It has often been claimed that conditionals have a special relation to modality. This study tests this claim empirically by examining the frequency of modal marking in a number of conditional and non-conditional structures using a corpus-based approach. It then seeks to provide explanations for the emerging frequency patterns in light of the tenets of two linguistic theories: Lexical Grammar and Construction Grammar. This juxtaposition was motivated by the substantial overlap in their tenets: both take into account meaning (semantic and pragmatic), as well as lexical and grammatical factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-334
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of English Linguistics
Issue number4
Early online date9 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2019


  • Corpus Linguistics
  • corpus approaches
  • conditionals
  • modality
  • lexical grammar
  • construction grammar
  • theory
  • Construction Grammar
  • Lexical Grammar
  • corpus linguistics


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