Modelling through Modality: (Re)shaping Brexit

Keywords: Brexit, modal verbs, modality, political discourse, corpus linguistics

Abstract

Due to Brexit, the UK has been involved in a continuous political debate between Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition. This paper compares and analyses the modality used in a corpus consisting of their political speeches until Brexit day. Modal verbs are used to express ability, possibility, willingness, certainty, obligation and necessity. Politicians’ choice of certain words can be a useful tool to affect voters’ decisions and modality is a resource which reinforces that influence. The findings show remarkable similarities between both politicians and reveal that possibility is the most frequent meaning of the modal verbs used in the corpus.

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Published
09/11/2021
How to Cite
Orrequia-Barea, A., and E. Almazán Ruiz. “Modelling through Modality: (Re)shaping Brexit”. ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies, no. 42, Nov. 2021, pp. 127-53, doi:10.24197/ersjes.42.2021.127-153.
Section
Articles