Contrasting contrastive approaches
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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The present paper compares and contrasts patterns of variation exhibited by the conjunction que in Spanish, Catalan and Italian, in root sentences — such as Que te digo que me dejes en paz (‘I’m telling you to leave me in peace’) or: Que los libros que los necesito (‘As far as the books are concerned, I need them’) — and when it appears in combination with evidential and polarity adverbs — such as Naturalmente que iré contigo (‘Of course, I will go with you’) or: Sí que iré contigo (‘Yes, I will go with you’). The focus will mainly be on the independent realizations of conjunctions in Spanish, but data from Catalan and Italian will also be analyzed, in order to show that the ways of encoding the speaker’s point of view and source of information vary across different languages. My hypothesis is that the existence of structures which combine this conjunction with evidential and polarity adverbs derives from the discourse properties of these syntactic categories. The conjunction itself can be used not only to mark subordination but also as a discourse marker, enabling the speaker to recall previously shared information or knowledge.


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