Mirative and Focusing Uses of the Catalan Particle pla

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© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter presents different types of pla in Catalan. In its basic use, pla coappears with some certain quantifiers to act as an epistemic modality adverb. In addition to modifying quantifiers, pla can act as a focal marker. It argues that this role of pla comes from its basic meaning as an epistemic modal adverb, which allows it to focalize a sentential constituent in order either to "overpass" implicitly a situation expressed in the preceding discourse or deny it. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the properties of pla acting as a ponderative quantifier, which gives to the sentence a mirative meaning (pla1). Section 3 studies the use of pla as a focus element related with the negative meaning of the sentence (pla2). Section 4 deals with the emphatic role of pla in reinforcing a bare quantifier (pla3). Finally, Section 5 emphasizes the idea that the three types of pla have a common function: their role of focus markers. More specifically, they are different instances of a quantifier that can be engaged in different functional positions thereby realizing different features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFunctional Heads: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2012


  • Catalan
  • Emphatic role
  • Epistemic modal adverb
  • Focal marker
  • Focus element
  • Negative meaning
  • Pla
  • Ponderative quantifier


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