An analysis of subjunctive frequency and semantic predictors of mood in Central Argentinian Spanish

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This study reports on distinct patterns of mood alternation among monolingual speakers of Spanish in central Argentina. A total of 224 participants completed two written tasks online. In the mood selection preference task, subjunctive licensing was analyzed in terms of semantic predictors of volition, recommendation, comment and uncertainty. In the guided writing task, subjunctive use in semi-spontaneous production was measured. Female older speakers produced subjunctive at higher rates, whereas it was almost non-existent among younger males. As for semantic predictors, subjunctive was categorically preferred by older speakers and indicative acceptance was observed among younger generations. While volitional and directives operated as robust subjunctive predictors across groups, indicative was preferred for comment and uncertainty, mainly among younger speakers.


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