Syntax and pragmatics of Spanish prophrases “Sí” and “no”

TitreSyntax and pragmatics of Spanish prophrases “Sí” and “no”
Publication TypeArticle dans des actes
Année de la conférence2019
AuthorsGarcia-Marchena, Oscar
Nom de la conférence4ème symposium international Langue pour une communication internationale
Conference LocationRiga

Syntax and pragmatics of Spanish prophrases “Sí” and “no” 


Used as independent units, Spanish “sí” and “no” are not only employed for acceptance or refusal. Their observation in a corpus of Contemporary Spanish (CORLEC corpus, Marcos Marín 1999) shows that they display a degree of complexity in their syntactic and pragmatic behaviour. 

Syntactically, they are heads that may take a complement, or even dislocated phrases, which are constrained to be in the left periphery (1). They are also anaphoric to a propositional content, which creates a link between the source and the target of the anaphore. Indeed, we can predict the speech act performed by the prophrase from the syntactic properties of both source and target, like their polarity and illocutive value. In consequence, it can constitute an agreement, a dissension (1), an acknowledgement, a correction, or a check question with regards to the source clause. In this way, as structures having full propositional content, they can be considered polar clauses. Besides, they have the same behaviour as a kind of elliptic verbless clauses that contain a contrast with the preceding clause, and can constitute answers, agreements (2), etc.: 

A: -Vais a ver a María? B: -Yo no.        A:- “Are you going to see Maria?” B: -“Me, not”
A: -Se fue con María? B: -Con María.    A:- “Did he go with Maria?” B: -“With Maria.”

In this way, the aim of this presentation is to show the syntactic and pragmatic diversity of these units, as well as their use in the different genres of the mentioned corpus.