Item Details

An annotation scheme for dynamic modality in English and Spanish

Issue: Vol 6 No. 1-3 (2010)

Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lhs.v6i1-3.297


This paper describes the results of a series of annotation experiments that focused on a number of prototypical expressions of dynamic modality in English and Spanish. This kind of modality may be defined as possibility and necessity due to natural factors (Perkins, 1983) and comprises meanings such as inevitability, tendency, ability and circumstantial possibility. The work reported is part of a larger project – CONTRANOT – aimed at the creation and validation of contrastive functional descriptions through corpus analysis and annotation, and at the production of a bilingual English-Spanish corpus annotated with different layers of discourse and grammatical features (see Arús et al., this volume; Lavid, 2008; Lavid et al., 2007, 2010a, 2010b, 2010c). The results display striking similarities between inter-annotator agreement in the two languages, in terms of both the global percentages of agreement and the percentages of the individual expressions and their respective correlates in the other language. The main problem for inter-annotator agreement was the distinction between dynamic modality and the other two modalities (epistemic and deontic).

Author: Juan Rafael Zamorano-Mansilla, Marta Carretero

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