Chapter 9. On the grammaticalization of the Assertion Structure

image of Chapter 9. On the grammaticalization of the Assertion Structure

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.

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Southern California



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