The Expressive Function of the ni que Insubordinate Construction in Spanish



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Martínez Caro, Elena and Alba Juez, Laura (2021) The Expressive Function of the ni que Insubordinate Construction in Spanish. Languages, 6 (4). p. 161. ISSN 2226-471X

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Authors such as Tyler Schnoebelen (on page 12 of his study Emotions are Relational: Positioning and the Use of Affective Linguistic Resources), suggest that in some languages (cf. Navajo), certain dependent clauses are frequently used independently to “mark emotional evaluation and background information”. Evans, in his work on insubordination and its uses, makes use of 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 Corpus), 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 observation about insubordinate constructions also applies 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 an emotive function, often combined with other discourse–pragmatic functions, such as evaluation or the organization of discourse.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:insubordinate constructions; the expressive function of language; language and emotion; ni que construction in Spanish
Subjects:Humanities > Philology > Spanish language
Humanities > Philology > Linguistics
ID Code:68864
Deposited On:23 Nov 2021 09:53
Last Modified:22 Mar 2023 19:48

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