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Discourse structure, constructions and regional variation

Non-embedded indicative que-clauses in three regional varieties of Spanish

From the book Convergence and divergence in Ibero-Romance across contact situations and beyond

  • Pedro Gras and María Sol Sansiñena


This paper presents a corpus-based interactional analysis of non-embedded indicative que-clauses (IQCs) in three regional varieties of Spanish (Madrid, Spain; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina), using data from the corpus COLA (Corpus Oral del Lenguaje Adolescente). On the one hand, we show that IQCs exhibit regional variation regarding the discourse contexts in which they appear: not all contexts are equally available for each regional variety. Moreover, we argue that this variation can be placed on a cline, which ranges from high discourse dependency to low discourse dependency, which might, in turn, suggest a divergent evolution of IQCs in the dialectal spectrum of Spanish. On the other hand, our analysis complements generativist typologies of IQCs in two respects: (i) it describes the discourse contexts in which different formal types of IQCs are used and (ii) it shows specific contexts and interpretations that had not been explicitly acknowledged in generativist studies.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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