Andrea Santana, Wilbert Spooren, Dorien Nieuwenhuijsen, Ted J.M. Sanders
January 27, 2021
Language users have preferences for the connectives they choose to express causal relations. These choices may depend on the subjectivity involved in the relation. Dutch connectives illustrate this situation clearly: want (‘since/for’) is preferred typically for expressing subjective relations and omdat (‘because’) for objective ones. While various corpus-based studies have revealed a similar pattern in other languages, little attention has been paid to Spanish from this perspective. Recent corpus-based studies analyzed the connectives porque (‘because’), ya que (‘since’) and puesto que (‘given that’) using two different methods of analysis. Surprisingly, the findings did not coincide with the previous literature on Spanish connectives, and the semantic profile of such connectives in terms of subjectivity remained unclear. The current study again aims to investigate whether these connectives show systematic variation in terms of subjectivity, using crowdsourcing experimentation. Results show that Spanish native speakers prefer puesto que over porque to express subjective relations. However, no statistically significant difference was observed between porque and ya que . This study offers a better understanding of Spanish connectives in terms of subjectivity. Furthermore, it contributes to the assessment of the use of crowdsourcing as a useful and reliable method to elucidate the meaning and use of connectives.