• Elena Arsovska Goce Delchev University-Shtip
Keywords: academic writing, deontic modality, epistemic modality, dedication, authority, politeness


This research aims to analyze the meanings and frequency of modal verbs in scientific papers in English and scientific papers in Macedonian language. It also defines epistemic and deontic modality, the degree of the speaker`s commitment to what he is saying, the relation to the authority to the reader, and modal verbs used with the pragmatic function politeness. We will look at the modal verbs can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, need tо in English, while in the Macedonian language we will analyze може, мора, треба, смее. From the general scientific methods named (Danilović, Blagojević & Gostović, 2015:79–98), we will apply the hypothetical -deductive method, the comparative method and the statistical method. Data collection methods are seen as so-called research techniques, although data collection is one of the basic characteristics of any science, even all others research. (Danilović, Blagojević & Gostović, 2015:99). The research will encompass the theoretical frame work and teachings of Palmer`s modality (Palmer, 2001), who speaks of epistemic modality as a category of dedication of the speaker to what he says and deontic modality as a degree of external compulsion to do something, as well as Smith`s teaching that there are markers of strong need (must, have to, have got to, need to) and markers of weak need (should, ought to). The purpose of this research is to show the presence of modal verbs and what they convey in academic writing. Our research has shown that epistemic modality is more present than deontic in both science corpses. But in scientific papers in Macedonian language with a higher percentage, due to the use of will in English with semantic function – prediction. There is no imposition of authority, the author equates himself with the reader. The politeness of academic texts in English is dominated by the modal verbs may, could, might, would, should in hypothetical situations and by the presence of passive and conditional sentences. The Macedonian scientific corpus is more concerned with epistemic modality, while the English scientific corpus is more concerned with the pragmatic function of politeness. This research will raise the awareness of the Macedonian public that the modeling of the statement is important in scientific research, not only in speech acts. The reader`s conviction depends on how modal verbs are used and in what context. It would be interesting in the future to conduct research in the field of natural sciences, engineering or medicine, to note the frequency of use of modal verbs there and what meaning they convey.


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How to Cite
Arsovska, E. (2020). USE OF MODAL VERBS IN ENGLISH AND MACEDONIAN ACADEMIC PAPERS. Knowledge International Journal, 40(6), 1161 - 1167. Retrieved from