Romance exclamative markers at the syntax-pragmatics interface: A compositional approach to exclamativity

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In this paper I will analyze the set of markers that have been associated with exclamative sentencetype and exclamations in Romance, like Catalan ma, mira, que, and si, Italian guarda and che, or Spanish mira, que, si, and vaya. The hypothesis I will defend is that the meaning encoded by each of these markers contribute to create an exclamation speech act. I will show that we must first distinguish mirative markers like ma, mira or guarda, which encode the surprise attitude of the speaker towards a proposition. A second class of elements are degree operators, like si, which create the necessary domain extension on which the attitude of the speaker is built. Finally, I will show that que/che is a marker of exclamative sentence-type. In the second part of the article I will show that these pragmatic differences have a transparent reflex in syntax: mirative markers occupy the Judge Phrase position in Krifka’s Speech Act Layer, above ForceP and vocatives, so they may combine with different sentence-types, besides exclamatives. In ForceP we find degree operators (and exclamative wh-phrases) in its specifier, and the sentence-type marker que/che in its head. All in all, the paper aims at showing that a compositional approach to exclamativity can deal with the rich set of pragmatic and syntactic properties of exclamative markers in Romance.
Idioma originalEnglish
Pàgines (de-a)64-77
Nombre de pàgines14
RevistaJournal of Pragmatics
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de juny 2024


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