Article published in:Middle and Modern English Corpus Linguistics: A multi-dimensional approach
Edited by Manfred Markus, Yoko Iyeiri, Reinhard Heuberger and Emil Chamson
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 50] 2012
► pp. 127–140
The subjunctive vs. modal auxiliaries
Lest-clauses in Late Middle English prose texts
The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of lest-clauses in Late Middle English (LME) prose texts, using a corpus-based approach. In lest-clauses, there are two options for the verb forms: the subjunctive or modal auxiliaries (e.g. He wrote the telephone number down lest he forget/should forget it). This paper focuses on the distribution of the subjunctive and modal auxiliaries and discusses the factors that affect their distributional tendencies: type of clauses (adverbial/complement), genre of texts (religious, fiction, letters, etc.) and the difference between written and spoken materials.
Published online: 11 April 2012