Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The present paper analyzes the occurrence of indicative and subjunctive complements of the verbs (Spanish) and (Portuguese) in European Spanish and European Portuguese. A quantitative analysis based on 400 occurrences of the complements randomly selected from the newspaper genre shows that the indicative mood occurs more frequently than the subjunctive mood in both languages, although the subjunctive mood is more frequent in the Portuguese corpus than in the Spanish one. The analysis also shows that the occurrence of the subjunctive complement is highly restricted to contexts in which the subject of the main clause verb is either 1st person or 3rd person singular. From the theoretical perspective of Cognitive Grammar, the mood alternation is explained by the concept of , i.e. the indicative complement designates an event that is located within the conceptualizer’s epistemic dominion, whereas the subjunctive complement designates an event that is located outside the conceptualizer’s dominion of effective control.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bosque, I. and Demonte, V.
    1999Gramática Descriptiva de la Lengua Española 2. Las construcciones sintácticas fundamentales. Relaciones temporales, aspectuales y modales [Descriptive Grammar of the Spanish Language 2. Fundamental syntactic constructions. Temporal, aspectual and modal relations]. Madrid: Espasa Calpe.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. CETEMPúblico
  3. Corpus de Referencia de Español Actual. (CREA)
    Corpus de Referencia de Español Actual. (CREA)corpus.rae.es/creanet.html.
  4. Cunha, C. and Cintra, L.
    1984Nova Gramática do Português Contemporáneo [New Grammar of Contemporary Portuguese]. Lisbon: Edições João Sá da Costa.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Farkas, D. F.
    1985Intentional Descriptions and the Romance Subjunctive. New York: Garland.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. 1992 On the Semantics of Subjunctive Complements. InRomance Languages and Modern Linguistic Theory, P. Hirschbühler and K. Koerner (eds), 69–105. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.91.07far
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.91.07far [Google Scholar]
  7. Guitart, J. M.
    1991 The Pragmatics of Spanish Mood in Complements of Knowledge and acquisition-of-knowledge predicates. InDiscourse-Pragmatics and the Verb, S. Fleischman and L. R. Waugh (eds), 179–193. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Kiparsky, P. and Kiparsky, C.
    1971 Fact. InSemantics: An Interdisciplinary Reader in Philosophy, Linguistics and Psychology, D. D. Steinberg and L. A. Jakobovits (eds), 345–369. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Langacker, R. W.
    1987Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. 1 – Theoretical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. 1991Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. 2 – Descriptive Application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 1993 Reference-point Constructions. Cognitive Linguistics4(1): 1–38. doi: 10.1515/cogl.1993.4.1.1
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.1993.4.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2009Investigations in Cognitive Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110214369
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110214369 [Google Scholar]
  13. Lavandera, B.
    1983 El cambio de modo como estrategia de discurso [Mood choice as a discourse strategy]. InIndicativo y Subjuntivo [Indicative and Subjunctive], I. Bosque (ed), 330–357. Madrid: Taurus .
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Lunn, P. V.
    1989 Spanish mood and the prototype of assertability. Linguistics27: 687–702. doi: 10.1515/ling.1989.27.4.687
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1989.27.4.687 [Google Scholar]
  15. Maldonado, R.
    1995 Middle-subjunctive Links. InStudies in Language Learning and Spanish Linguistics in Honor of Tracy D. Terrell, P. Hamispour , R. Maldonado and M. van Naerssen (eds), 399–418. New York: McGraw Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Marques, R.
    1996 Sobre a selecção de modo em orações completivas [On mood selection in complement clauses]. InActas do encontro XII nacional da Associação Portuguesa de Linguística, Vol.2, I. Castro (ed), 191–202. Lisbon: Colibri.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2009 On the Selection of Mood in Complement Clauses. InCross-Linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect and Modality, L. Hogeweg , H. de Hoop and A. Malchukov (eds), 179–204. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/la.148.08mar
    https://doi.org/10.1075/la.148.08mar [Google Scholar]
  18. 2010 Modality, context change potential and mood selection in European Portuguese. InModality and Mood in Romance. Modal Interpretation, Mood Selection, and Mood Alternation, M. G. Becker , and E-M. Remberger (eds), 133–162. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Mejías-Bikandi, E.
    1994 Assertion and Speaker’s Intention: A Pragmatically Based Account of Mood in Spanish. Hispania77(4): 892–902. doi: 10.2307/345752
    https://doi.org/10.2307/345752 [Google Scholar]
  20. 1995 Presupposition Inheritance and Mood in Spanish. InStudies in Language Learning and Spanish Linguistics in Honor of Tracy D. Terrell, P. Hamispour , R. Maldonado and M. van Naerssen (eds), 375–384. New York: McGraw Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. 1998 Presupposition and Old Information in the Use of the Subjunctive Mood in Spanish. Hispania81(4): 941–948. doi: 10.2307/345807
    https://doi.org/10.2307/345807 [Google Scholar]
  22. Mira Mateus, M. H. , Brito, A. M. , Duarte, I. and Hub Faria, I.
    2003Gramática da Língua Portuguesa [Grammar of the Portuguese Language]. Lisbon: Caminho.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Quer, J.
    1998Mood at the Interface. Hague: Holland Academic Graphics.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 2001Interpreting mood. Probus13(1): 81–111.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2010 On the (Un)stability of Mood Distribution in Romance. InModality and Mood in Romance, M. G. Becker and E-M. Remberger (eds), 163–180. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Real Academia Española
    Real Academia Española 2009Nueva Gramática de la Lengua Española: Morfología/Sintaxis I [New Grammar of the Spanish Language: Morphology/Syntax I]. Madrid: Espasa Libros.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Santos, M. J. de Almeida Vieira dos
    2003Os Usos do Conjuntivo em Língua Portuguesa : Uma proposta de análise sintáctica e semântico-pragmática [The uses of the subjunctive mood in Portuguese: A syntactic and semantic-pragmatic proposal]. Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Terrell, T.
    1995 Assertion and Presupposition in Spanish Complements. InStudies in Language Learning and Spanish Linguistics in Honor of Tracy D. Terrell, P. Hamispour , R. Maldonado and M. van Naerssen (eds), 342–360. New York: McGraw Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Terrell, T. and Hooper, J.
    1974 A Semantically Based Analysis of Mood in Spanish. Hispania57 (3), 484–494. doi: 10.2307/339187
    https://doi.org/10.2307/339187 [Google Scholar]
  30. Vesterinen, R.
    2012 Control and Dominion: Factivity and Mood Choice in Spanish. Language and Cognition, 4(1): 43–64. doi: 10.1515/langcog‑2012‑0003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/langcog-2012-0003 [Google Scholar]
  31. 2013a Finalidade e domínio: a forma verbal nas orações finais introduzidas por para. [Purpose and dominion: the verb form in purpose clauses introduced by para] Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 6(2): 351–375. doi: 10.1515/shll‑2013‑1154
    https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2013-1154 [Google Scholar]
  32. 2013b Estruturas causativas no Português: Um estudo sobre a relação entre o modo conjuntivo e os conceitos de subjectificação e domínio. [Causative structures in Portuguese: A study on the relation between the concepts of subjectification and dominion]. Revista Portuguesa de Humanidades, 17(1): 97–120.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 2013c Instructions or Dominion? The Meaning of the Spanish Subjunctive Mood. Pragmatics and Cognition, 21(2): 359–379. doi: 10.1075/pc.21.2.06ves
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.21.2.06ves [Google Scholar]
  34. 2014a Impersonals with ser (‘to be’) and the dominion of effective control. Language Sciences41: 143–152. doi: 10.1016/j.langsci.2013.08.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2013.08.014 [Google Scholar]
  35. 2014b Extending the Dominion of Effective Control – its Applicability to Mood Choice in Spanish and Portuguese. Cognitive Linguistics, 25(4): 583–616. doi: 10.1515/cog‑2014‑0059
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cog-2014-0059 [Google Scholar]
  36. 2014c Factividade e modo verbal [Factivity and verbal mood]. Revue Romane49(1): 52–67. doi: 10.1075/rro.49.1.03ves
    https://doi.org/10.1075/rro.49.1.03ves [Google Scholar]
  37. 2016 Mood Alternation in Spanish Conditional Clauses: Condition, Cause and the Dominion Hypothesis. Journal of Linguistics52(1): 175–193. doi: 10.1017/S0022226714000590
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226714000590 [Google Scholar]
  38. Vesterinen, R. and Bylund, E.
    2013 Towards a Unified Account of the Spanish Subjunctive Mood: Epistemic Dominion and Dominion of Effective Control. Lingua, 131: 179–198. doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2013.03.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2013.03.001 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cognitive Grammar; complementation; dominion; mood; Portuguese; Spanish
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error