The referential ambiguity of personal pronouns and its pragmatic consequences
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


The Catalan second person singular (2sg) pronoun has acquired a wide range of pragmatic values in spoken registers that have received little or no attention from scholars in the field. The aim of the present article is to analyse a particular emerging use of the 2sg pronoun from a corpus-based perspective. In the light of Grammaticalisation Theory, it is argued that whereas in some contexts this pronoun maintains all or part of its referential function (e.g. as subject or as a vocative, respectively), in other contexts its use is very similar to that of an emphatic pragmatic marker. Data drawn from three spoken corpora suggest that the pronoun has consolidated this new use. Prosodic evidence is also provided to show the semantic and pragmatic changes undergone by the pronoun.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Grammaticalisation; Person deixis; Pragmatic markers; Spoken corpora
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