Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The expressive function of the ni que insubordinate construction in Spanish

Version 1 : Received: 4 June 2021 / Approved: 8 June 2021 / Online: 8 June 2021 (10:34:07 CEST)

How to cite: Martínez Caro, E.; Alba-Juez, L. The expressive function of the ni que insubordinate construction in Spanish. Preprints 2021, 2021060208 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0208.v1). Martínez Caro, E.; Alba-Juez, L. The expressive function of the ni que insubordinate construction in Spanish. Preprints 2021, 2021060208 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202106.0208.v1).

Abstract

Authors such as Schnoebelen (2012: 12) suggest that in some languages (cf. Navajo) certain dependent clauses are frequently used independently to “mark emotional evaluation and background information”. Evans (2007) uses the term insubordination to refer to this phenomenon. Our study focuses on a particular insubordinate construction introduced by the sequence ni que in Spanish, as in the example [¡Una carta cada día!] Ni que yo fuese Umbral. (CORPES 100), used as an independent clause with a sociopragmatic meaning which is different from that of its subordinate counterpart (cf. No escribiría una carta cada día ni que yo fuese Umbral). Our research questions ask about the potential for ni que to be used as a discourse marker fulfilling an expressive function when it introduces this type of construction, and the derived hypothesis is then oriented to test whether Schnoebelen's (2012) observation about insubordinate constructions applies also to this Spanish construction. In order to test this hypothesis, we performed a functional-discourse analysis of more than 2000 concordances (and their extended contexts) in Mark Davies' Corpus del Español and the Real Academia CORPES XXI. Our findings show that the insubordinate construction differs in function and meaning from its subordinate counterpart, the former fulfilling a stronger emotive function, often combined with other discourse-pragmatic functions, such as evaluation or the organization of discourse.

Subject Areas

insubordinated constructions; the expressive function of language; language and emotion; ni que construction in Spanish

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