Volume 7, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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In this article, I investigate the diachronic development of a construction in Modern Spanish. It consists of an epistemic or evidential modifier followed by the complementizer (hence Adv+C) that heads root clauses ( ‘Surely he/she will come’). I demonstrate that the distributional, semantic, and pragmatic properties support a monoclausal analysis for Modern Spanish Adv+C as well as for its historical source construction. I propose a cartographic analysis associating Adv+C and the source construction with a low position in Rizzi’s split CP. Supported by corpus data, I identify a verum focus construction (Aff+C) as the origin of Adv+C. I claim that the loss of the verum interpretation triggers the reanalysis of the construction. This ultimately gives rise to its productive extension to other epistemic and evidential modifiers.


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