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Conditionally interpreted declaratives in Spanish

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Abstract

This paper provides a description and an analysis of what I call “conditionally interpreted declaratives” in Spanish: a coordination of two declarative clauses which receive a conditional interpretation. Conditionally interpreted declaratives in Spanish may even receive a counterfactual reading, which is something very rare cross-linguistically. I propose that such conditionally interpreted declaratives contain a left-subordinating conjunction ‘and’, which (i) conveys a causal modal, and (ii) turns the first conjunct into the restrictor of the modal and the second one into the scope. The fact that the first conjunct acts as a restrictor explains its peculiar prosody, which acts as a strong cue towards the relevant interpretation. Finally, the counterfactual interpretation is a pragmatic effect (i.e. it is defeasible) which is obtained when it is common ground that the first conjunct does not hold.

References

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