If-conditionals as modal colligations: A corpus-based investigation

Costas Gabrielatos, M Davies (Editor), P Rayson (Editor), S Hunston (Editor), P Danielsson (Editor)

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The weak claim motivating this study is that if-conditionals are strong modality attractors, due to the conditional (i.e. modal) meaning of if, with modality appearing in the if-clause, the main clause, or both. The strong claim is that if-conditionals can be regarded as modal colligations. The weak claim can be supported if it is shown that if-conditionals contain modality in a significantly higher than average frequency. Before examining the conditions under which the strong claim can be supported we need to turn our attention to the notions of modality, collocation, colligation and semantic preference, which inform the notion of modal colligation introduced in this paper. In: Davies, M., Rayson, P., Hunston, S., & Danielsson, P. (eds). Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics Conference: Corpus Linguistics 2007.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event4th Corpus Linguistics Conference - University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jul 200730 Jul 2007


Conference4th Corpus Linguistics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • corpus linguistics
  • lexical grammar
  • conditionals
  • modality
  • manual annotation


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