Xavier Villalba


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

Editorial: Journal of Pragmatics vol. 226 (Elsevier)
Data de publicació: Abril del 2024
Pàgines: 13

Text complet

In this paper I will analyze the set of markers that have been associated with exclamative sentence-type 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.