Bibliography Page

Source Codes for Table

Mishoe - Margaret Mishoe, used for Mishoe (1993) and Mishoe and Montgomery (1994), found below.

DARE - Dictionary of American Regional English

Skipper - Gail Skipper, unpublished thesis data

Montgomery - Michael Montgomery, used in several publications found below.

LAGS - Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States

LAMSAS - Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States

COCA - Corpus of Contemporary American English

Feagin - Crawford Feagin, used in Feagin (1979), found below

ELS - Minta Elsman, used in several publications found below.

DiPaolo - Mariana Di Paolo, used in several publications found below.

Reed- Paul Reed, from unpublished observations.

H&S - Holm and Shilling (1982), The Dictionary of Bahamian English, found below.

W&C - Wolfram and Christian (1976) found below.

F&B - Fennell and Butters (1996), found below.

R&V - Randolph and Vance (1953) found below.

Hern.&S - Herndobler and Sledd (1976) found below.

Bibliography on Multiple Modals in English

This is a compilation of most of the scholarly research on multiple modals:

Atwood, E. Bagby. 1953. A Survey of Verb Forms in the Eastern United States. Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press. P. 35, outlines the regional occurrence of might could from Pennsylvania southward, based on records of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States. 

Bailey, Guy, and Jan Tillery. 1990. The evolution of fixin' to and multiple modals in Southern American English. Handout of paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 42, Greenwood, SC. [to be found]

Battistella, Edwin. 1990. Double modals in a principles and parameters framework. Handout from paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 42, Greenwood, SC. 19 pp.

Battistella, Edwin. 1991. INF:  head feature licensing, and the double modal construction. 54 pp.

Battistella, Edwin. 1991. The treatment of negation in double modal constructions. Linguistic Analysis 21.49-63.

Battistella, Edwin. 1995. The syntax of the double modal construction. Linguistica Atlantica 17.19-44.

Bernstein, Cynthia. 2000. Misrepresenting the American South. American Speech 75.339-342. Shows how in his 1982 novel The Outside Man Richard North Patterson misuses might could in contexts where dummy it, rather than a volitional entity, is the grammatical subject.

Bernstein, Cynthia. 2003. Grammatical features of southern speech: yall, might could, and fixin to. English in the Southern United States, ed. by Stephen Nagle and Sara Sanders, 106-118. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bigham, Douglas A. 1999. What “might” might could be in “might could”: The case of double modals in Appalachian English. Unpublished typescript at, consulted 11 October 2009.

Boertien, Harmon S. 1979. The double modal construction in Texas. Texas Linguistic Forum 13, ed. by Carlota S. Smith and Susan F. Schmerling, 14-33. Austin: University of Texas. Outlines acceptable sequences of double modals [5 college students native to TX] and phrase-structure and transformational rules for forming negatives, yes-no questions, contraction, and niching with them; concludes there are at least two double- modal dialects, one treating the structures as inseparable and the other treating modals as separable and second modal as tensed.

Boertien, Harmon S., and Sally Said. 1980. Syntactic variation in double modal dialects. Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest 3.210-222. Examines patterning and variation of double modal structures [TX] in contraction, yes-no question inversion, quantifier floating, and negative placement, and tag question formation; finds evidence that two syntactic features, modal tense and modal position, govern application of these rules.

Boertien, Harmon S. 1986. Constituent structure of double modals. Language variety in the South: perspectives in black and white, ed. by Michael Montgomery and Guy Bailey, 294-318. University: University of Alabama Press. Outlines acceptable sequences of double modals [5 college students native to TX] and phrase-structure and transformational rules for forming negatives, yes-no questions, contraction, and niching with them; concludes phrase-structure and transformational rules for single- modal and double-modal dialects are the same.

Bour, Anthony. 2014. Multiple modal constructions in the Western English-speaking world. Linguistica Atlantica 34. 45-58.

Bour, Anthony. 2015. Exotic multiple modals: Semantic and morphosyntactic survey. Scottish Language 35. 14-41.

Brandstetter, Corinne. 2006. A study in syntactic variation: Double modal constructions. Handbout from paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English (NWAVE) 35, Ohio State University. 13 pp.

Brown, Keith. 1990. Double modals in Hawick Scots. Dialects of English: Studies in Grammatical Variation, ed. by Peter Trudgill and J. K. Chambers, 74-103. New York: Longman.

Brown, Rebecca Ann. 1982. The double modal dialect: Issue update and syntactic analysis. Master’s Thesis. Louisiana State University. Analyzing forms in published literature, proposes that "the surface form of double modals is generated from two underlying sentences, a matrix and an embedding, on which the Raising to Subject transformation applies."

Burg, Elyssa, et al. 2000. Had Ought: A Midwestern Double Modal. Handout for paper presented at Chicago Linguistics Society, 10 pp.

Butters, Ronald. 1973. Acceptability judgments for double modals in Southern dialects. New Ways of Analyzing Variation in Linguistics, ed. by Charles-James N. Bailey and Roger Shuy, 276-286. Washington, D. C.: Georgetown U. Press.

Butters, Ronald. 1991. Multiple modals in United States Black English: Synchronic and diachronic Aspects. Verb Phrase Patterns in Black English and Creole, ed. by Walter F. Edwards and Donald Winford, 165-176. Detroit: Wayne State U. Press.

Chaski, Carole S. 1990. Double modals in GPSG. Handout for paper presented at Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 42, Greenwood, SC, 14 pp.

Close, Joanne. 2004. English auxiliaries: A syntactic study of contraction and variation. Doctoral thesis, University of York.

Coates, Jennifer. 1987. Epistemic Modality and Spoken Discourse. Transactions of the Philological Society xx:110-31.

Coates, Jennifer. 1990. Modal Meaning: The Semantic-Pragmatic Interface. Journal of Semantics 7.53-63.

Coleman, William. 1975. Multiple Modals in Southern States English. Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University. Using quantitative analysis and implicational scaling, identifies three regional patterns of multiple modal variation in NC with range of acceptable modal combinations increasing from east to west.

Cook, Walter A. 1978. Semantic Structure of the English Modals. TESOL Quarterly 12:5-15.

de la Cruz, Juan. 1995. The geography and history of double modals in English: A new proposal. Folia Linguistica Historica 18.2.75-96.

de la Cruz, Juan. 1997. The history of double modals in the history of English revisited. Language history and linguistic modeling: festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on his 60th birthday, Vol. 1, ed. by Raymond Hickey and Stanisauw Puppel, 87-99. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Dickey, Michael Walsh,et al. 2000 A Midwestern double modal. Chicago Linguistic Society 36: The Panels, 207-221

DiPaolo, Marianna, Charles L. McClenon, and Kenneth C. Ranson. 1979. A survey of double modals in Texas. Texas Linguistic Forum 13.40-49. Surveys usage of double modals mainly in East Texas and compares rural vs. urban and younger vs. older speakers; finds older and more rural speakers use structures more but that “double modals may be part of standard Urban speech in Texas.” 5 maps. [750 native Texans]

DiPaolo, Marianna. 1982. A cross-dialect comparison of double modals. Paper presented at Rocky Mountain American Dialect Society meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, 8 pp. (Includes list of c30 examples in appendix).

Di Paolo, Marianna. 1986. A study of double modals in Texas English. Doctoral dissertation University of Texas.

Di Paolo, Marianna. 1989. Double modals as single lexical items. American Speech 64.195-224.

Drubig,Hans. 2001. The evidence of multiple modal constructions. On the Syntactic Form of Epistemic Modality, Tübingen., pp.36-39. Consulted 16 December 2010.

Dumas, Bethany K. 1987. Double modals in Ozark folk speech. Handout for paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English (NWAVE) Austin, Texas, 1 p.

Dumas, Bethany. N.d. Multiple modals in southern mountain speech. Handout for conference paper, 3 pp.

Elgin, Suzette H. 1988. Double modals in Ozark English. Lonesome Node 7.3.2. Argues that might could be and maybe are distinct in meaning.

Eliason, Norman. 1956. Tarheel Talk. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Ellison, Gregory Campbell. 2007. You might shouldn’t say that: The cartographic syntax of English multiple modal constructions and its (speculative) history. Generative Grammar in Geneva 5:51-106.

Elsman, Minta. 2007. The syntax of single and double modal constructions.Masters Thesis,University of South Carolina.

Elsman, M. n.d. Double modal syntactic patterns as single modal interactons., consulted 17 December 2010.

Elsman, Minta, and Stanley Dubinsky. 2009. Double modal syntactic patterns as single modal interactions. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) 15.1.Article 10. ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Linguistics Department.

Feagin, Crawford. 1979. Modality: Double modals and liketa. Variation and Change in Alabama English: A Sociolinguistic Study of the White Community, 151-175. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown U. Press.

Fennell, Barbara. 1993. Evidence for British Sources of double modal constructions in Southern American English. American Speech 68, 430-436.

Fennell, Barbara A., and Ronald R. Butters. Historical and contemporary distribution of double modals. Focus on the USA, ed. by Edgar W. Schneider, 265-290. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Grant, William, and James Main Dixon. 1921. Manual of Modern Scots. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press.

Grant, William, and David Murison, eds. 1931-84. The Scottish Natinal Dictionary. Edinburgh: Scottish National Dictionary Association.

Greenbaum, Sidney. 1974. Problems in the Negation of Modals. Moderna Sprak 68.244-55.

Harris, Bradley. 1996. We might should look at the whole discourse: Toward a new sociolinguistic grammar of the Southern multiple modals. Handout to paper presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English (NWAVE) 25, Las Vegas, 3 pp.

Herndobler, Robin, and Andrew Sledd. 1976. "Black English-Notes on the Auxiliary,' American Speech 51: 185-200

Hasty, J. Daniel. 2012. This might could help us understand syntactic variation: The double modal construction in Tennessee English. PhD Dissertation. Michigan State University.

Hasty, J. Daniel. 2012. We might should oughta take a second look at this: A syntactic re-analysis of double modals in Southern United States English. Lingua 122: 1716-38.

Hasty, J.  Daniel et al. 2012. Finding needles in the right haystack: Double modals in medical consultations. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 18: 40-47.

Labov, William. 1972. Language in the inner city: Studies in the black English vernacular. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 57-59.

Labov, William A., et al. 1968. A Study of the Non-Standard English of Negro and Puerto Rican Speakers in New York City. 2 vols. Philadelphia: U.S. Regional Survey. Final report. Office of Education Cooperative Research Project no. 3288. Eric Document 028 423.

Macafee, Caroline. 1980. Characteristics of non-standard grammar in Scotland. Revised version at

McDavid, Raven I., Jr., William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., and Gail J. Hankins. 1982-86. Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States and Affiliated Projects: Basic Materials: Pennsylvania. Microfilm MSS on Cultural Anthropology 68.363. Chicago: Joseph Regenstein Library, U. of Chicago.

McDonald, Christine. 1978. Variation in the use of modal verbs with special reference to Tyneside English. Ph.D. thesis, University of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Marrano, Ann Marie. 1998. The syntax of modality: A comparative study of epistemic and root modal verbs in Spanish and English. Doctoral dissertation, Georgetown University.

Mashburn, Carolyn. 1989. Multiple modals in an American English dialect. CUNY Forum 14.130-133.

Miller, J. 1989. The Grammar of Scottish English. Economic and Social Research Council Pamphlet.

Miller, J. and K. Brown. 1982. "Aspects of Scottish English Syntax." English World-Wide 3: 3-17.

Mishoe, Margaret. 1991. The pragmatics of double modal usage. Master’s Thesis. University of South Carolina.

Mishoe, Margaret, and Michael Montgomery. 1994. The pragmatics of multiple modals in North and South Carolina. American Speech 60.3-29.

Montgomery, Michael. 1989. Multiple Modals and the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States. Paper presented at Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 41, Atlanta, GA

Montgomery, Michael. 1990. Fieldwork notes, Northern Ireland, June.

Montgomery, Michael. 1998. Multiple Modals in LAGS and LAMSAS. From the Gulf States and Beyond: The Legacy of Lee Pederson and LAGS, ed. by Michael B. Montgomery and Thomas E. Nunnally, 90-122. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.

Montgomery, Michael, and Stephen J. Nagle. 1994. Double modals in Scotland and the Southern United States: Trans-Atlantic inheritance or independent development? Folia Linguistica Historica 14.91-107.

Mufwene, Salikoko S. 1994. Double modals in American Southern English: How peculiar are they? Contemporary Linguistics 1:89-104. University of Chicago.

Murray, James A. H. 1873. The dialect of the Southern counties of Scotland: Its pronunciation, grammar, and historical relations. London: Philological Society.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1989. Double modals in Early English. Paper presented at the International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ILA), New Brunswick, NJ.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1990. Modes of inference and the gradual/rapid issue: Suggestions from the English modal. Historical linguistics 1987: Papers from the 8th International Conference on Historical linguistics (8 - ICHL) (Lille, 31 August- 4 September, 1987), ed. by Henning Anderson and Konrad Koerner, 353-63. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1991. The English double modals and phrase structure. Paper presented at the South Eastern Conference On Linguistics 44, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Nagle, Stephen. 1993. Double modals in early English. Historical Linguistics 1989: Papers from the 9th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (Rutgers University), ed. by Henk Aertsen, Robert J. Jeffers, 363-70. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1994. The English double modal conspiracy. Diachronica 11.199-212.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1995. English double modals: Internal or external change? Linguistic change under contact conditions, ed. by by Jacek Fisiak, 207-15. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nagle, Stephen J. 1995. On the semantics of double modals. Handout for paper presented at the South Eastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL) 52, Athens, Georgia,

Nagle, Stephen J. 1997. What is double about double modals? Language history and linguistic modelling: festschrift for Jacek Fisiak on his 60th birthday, Vol. 2, ed. by Raymond Hickey and Stanislaw Puppel, 513-526. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nagle, Stephen J. 2003. Double modals in the southern United States: Syntactic structure or syntactic structures? Modality in Contemporary English, ed. by Roberta Facchinetti, Manfred Krug and Frank R. Palmer, 349-70. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nagle, Stephen J., and Patsy L. Holmes. 2000. On the semantics of the English double modals. Words: Structure, meaning, function: A festschrift for Dieter Kastovsky, ed. by Christianne Dalton-Puffer and Nikolaus Ritt, 217-234. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nykiel. Johann. 2006. Middle English double modals: Why do they matter? Abstract of paper presented at the International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, Bergamo, Italy, 1 p.

O'Connor, Flannery. 1971. Flannery O'Connor the Complete Stories. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

O'Connor, Flannery. 1983. Three by Flannery O'Connor. New York: New American Library.

Palmer, F. R. 1986. Mood and modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Palmer, F. R. 1990. Modality and the English modals. London: Longman.

Pampell, John R. 1975. More on Double Modals. Texas Linguistic Forum 2: 110-21.

Pederson, Lee, et al., eds. 1986. The Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States: A concordance of basic materials. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International.

Shay, James F. 1981. Still more on double modals. Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest 4.313-319. Argues that ought to "does not belong in the analysis of double modal construction" and that "the first modal in a double modal construction is always epistemic."

Tillery, Jan, and Guy Bailey. 2003. Urbanization and Southern American English. English in the Southern United States, ed. by Stephen Nagle and Sara Sanders, 159-173. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 1972. A History of English Syntax: A Transformational Approach to the History of English Sentence Structure. New York: Holt.

Turner, Kathleen Denise. 1981. A unified description of the systematic nature of double modals. Master’s Thesis, University of Alabama. viii + 123 pp. Discusses history, semantics, and syntactic behavior of double modal patterns, and proposes new analysis of them based on X-bar syntax.

Van Gelderen, Elly. 2003. Asp(ect) in English modal complements. Studia Linguistica 57:27-43.

Visser, Fredericus Theodorus. 1963-73. An historical Syntax of the English language. Leiden: Brill.

Welty, Eudora. 1980. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Wentworth, Harold W., ed. 1944. American Dialect Dictionary. New York: Crowell.

Whitley, M. Stanley. 1975. Dialectal syntax: plurals and modals in Southern American. Linguistics 161.89-108. Investigates patterns of modals and associative pronouns in Southern English and their relation to phrase structure rules of other American English dialect systems; concludes that Southern English and other systems can all be classified as dialects of one language.

Wolfram, Walt, and Donna Christian. 1976. Appalachian Speech. Arlington, Va.: Center for Applied Linguisticsics.