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A Context-sensitive and Functional Approach to Evidentiality in Spanish or Why Evidentiality needs a Superordinate Category

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Anja Neuß (geb. Hennemann)

This study adopts a context-sensitive and functional approach to the qualitative analysis of Spanish linguistic means that are used to convey evidential meanings. Verbs of cognitive attitude, modal adverbs, modal verbs, the Spanish conditional and the synthetic future are analysed against the background of pragmatics. GlossaNet, a search engine that supports the researcher to build a corpus, was used to collect the examples analysed in this study. Furthermore, as evidentiality is – at least in Spanish – a linguistic category that overlaps with other semantic-functional categories, namely epistemic modality, deixis, subjectivity and polyphony, it is argued that the superordinate category speaker’s perspectivisation should be imposed on these categories.

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7 A context-sensitive and functional approach to the use of the conditional form and the synthetic future

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While verbs of cognitive attitude or modal adverbs represent lexical means to express evidentiality, the Spanish condicional, futuro sintético and imperfecto145 are to be seen as grammatical forms that may convey evidential meanings. So in this chapter verbs in the conditional and future form will be dealt with. Giacalone Ramat/Topadze (2007: 7-8) observe that in some languages, evi- dential meanings “have developed as secondary meanings out of tenses and moods of the verbal system”. Such evidential meanings have developed out of the Spanish condicional and the futuro sintético. After considering the secon- dary meanings of the conditional, the evidential meanings that developed out of the future tense will be looked at. In the New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (2004), Butt/Benjamin list various types of conditions like remote and unfulfilled conditions and other ways of expressing conditions in Spanish (Butt/Benjamin 2004: 361-367). Text passage (388), for instance, represents an example containing a ‘typical’ sen- tence structure for a remote condition, that is, the use of the conditional is grammatically motivated: (388) Si los sevillanos eliminasen al Oporto, se enfrentarían en octavos al ganador del PAOK Salónica (GRE)-CSKA Moscú (RUS). (El Mundo 19/12/2010) But how could the use of the conditional in (389) and (390) be explained? (389) Según explicó el propio Perelló en varias ocasiones, el Duque de Palma realizaría en el equipo de vela la labor de representar el área social y cultural con la colaboración de la fundación Crist...

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