The Use of Modal Auxiliary Verbs in Horoscope: A Corpus-Based Study
Horoscope is a regular content in women’s magazine. Horoscope contains modal auxiliary verbs which are used to establish familiarity and relationship. As modal auxiliary verbs are among the most problematic grammatical items in teaching and learning of English, horoscope can be used as authentic teaching and learning material. The present study is a corpus-based approach which seeks to investigate word frequency and examine the use of modal auxiliary verbs in the horoscope section of English women’s magazines. Three bestselling Malaysian female magazines from the year of 2011 to 2013 were analysed. The corpus consists of horoscope from 108 magazine issues. The data were analysed using AntConc and Editpad Pro to generate frequency lists and concordance lines. Both the frequency lists and the concordance lines were analysed to discover the use of modal auxiliary verbs in horoscope. It was found that the most frequent modal auxiliary verbs used in horoscope are will and may to express prediction and possibility. The least used modal auxiliary verbs are should and must which are modals of necessity and obligation. The pronoun you is the most frequent lexis in every horoscope entry. Based on findings from this study, horoscopes can be used to teach the modal auxiliary verbs in addition to prescribed Malaysian textbooks.
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