Hamidu Alhassan, Aikins Addae, Millicent Akosua Quarcoo, Godwin Kusi Danquah


This study aims at investigating the most used modal verbs and their semantic implications on the COVID-19 addresses delivered by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the president of the Republic of Ghana. In all, 96,784 running words were culled from thirty (30) presidential addresses to build a specialised corpus for the study. Using the Antconc corpus software, 3.5.9 version, five (5) modal auxiliaries, that is, epistemic and non-epistemic (root) modal verbs were found to constitute the most frequently occurring modals in the presidential COVID-19 addresses. The analysis revealed five (5) thematic areas which these modal verbs covered - willingness, possibility, prediction, ability, and probability. These thematic areas give an indication that the president showed more commitment to dealing with the pandemic. This was evidenced by the number of times the president used non epistemic modal verbs which demonstrate ability, willingness, and possibility in handling the coronavirus pandemic. Again, the corpus revealed that the president’s measures were on the back of some form of his existing knowledge in dealing with the pandemic.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejals.v6i2.457


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