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Chapter 9. On the grammaticalization of the Assertion Structure

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Abstract

This paper argues that the standard and colloquial variety of Spanish pseudo-clefts provide support for the bi-clausal analysis of such constructions (Ross 1972, Schlenker 1998, 2003, den Dikken et al. 2000), and this transparently encodes the Assertion Structure of the sentence: the pre-copular clause encodes the presupposition and the post-copular clause the assertion, with the focused phrase contained within the latter. It is furthermore argued that the Caribbean Spanish bare-copular construction, in particular the Andean variety of the Bucaramanga dialect of Colombia (Méndez-Vallejo 2009), constitutes a more advanced stage of the bi-clausal grammaticalization of the Assertion Structure, with a reduced bi-clausal structure. Finally, it is suggested that standard Spanish monoclausal sentences with a sentence final focus in a non-canonical word order can be given an analysis that involves a variant of the reduced bi-clausal structure proposed for the Caribbean Spanish bare-copular construction.

References

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