• Olufunke O. Fagunleka National Orientation Agency, Research Department
  • David Olorunsogo Pan-Atlantic University, Institute of Humanities, English Unit



modality, newspaper editorials, brain drain, media discourse, deontic modality, epistemic modality, dynamic modality, modal auxiliary verbs


This paper explores the conscious deployment of modal auxiliary verbs by the media to project stances and opinions on the topical issue of medical brain drain in Nigeria. Data, which comprised a total of 12 editorials on the issue of brain drain in the Nigerian health sector, were sourced from four Nigerian newspapers (Punch, The Guardian, Daily Trust, The Sun) published between 2018-2022. The identified modal verbs were categorised based on Palmer’s (1986; 1990) classification of modality: deontic, epistemic and dynamic. The modal auxiliaries are used to stir up the emotion of concern, project the duty of government and predictions about doctors’ exodus attempts, and communicate the disposition of the government towards the issue. The editorials are marked with modal auxiliary verbs intended to draw the attention of the public to the responsibilities of the government and the possible outcomes of taking (or not) necessary actions to tackle the menace of medical brain drain.


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How to Cite

Fagunleka, O. O. ., & Olorunsogo , D. . (2022). MODAL AUXILIARIES IN SELECTED NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS ON MEDICAL BRAIN DRAIN IN NIGERIA . PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 13(26), 151–169.