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Talk that CountsAge, Gender, and Social Class Differences in Discourse$
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Ronald K. S. Macaulay

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173819.001.0001

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Modals and Modality

Modals and Modality

(p.96) 9 Modals and Modality
Talk that Counts

Ronald K. S. Macaulay

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the use of modal auxiliaries. There are few social class differences, but some age and gender differences. Females are responsible for the majority of epistemic uses of modals. The adolescents use modal auxiliaries more frequently than the adults. Variation in the use of modals seems to depend more on topic rather than on any social factors.

Keywords:   modal auxiliaries, social class, epistemic use of modals, age and gender differences

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