Chapter 8. Evidentiality and illocutionary force

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This paper centers on certain aspects of the syntax-semantics-pragmatics interface. Its main contribution is that it incorporates into the wide crosslinguistic list of grammatical evidentials one type of Spanish <i>que</i> &#8216;that&#8217;, which is claimed to have evolved into this category from a complementizer. To set our argument two cases are described: (i) (discourse initial) root clauses headed by <i>que</i> introducing a speech event (Etxepare 2007, 2010) which is reported; (ii) que-clauses reproducing previous discourse. Both descriptive and theoretical approaches group these instances of <i>que</i> together. We show, instead, that the first <i>que</i> is a &#8220;reportative evidential&#8221; while the second one is an &#8216;echoic&#8217; <i>que</i>, a true (&#8216;insubordinate&#8217;) complementizer, in some cases selected by a silent communication verb. The semantic and syntactic properties of both types of <i>que</i> are carefully described and syntactic-semantic analyses in terms of &#8220;illocutionary force&#8221; and discourse operators are proposed. Implications for the theory of the Left Periphery are also discussed.


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