|Titre||On the overlapping discourse functions of Spanish 'cómo que' and French 'comment ça' interrogatives|
|Publication Type||Article de revue|
|Année de publication||Soumis|
|Authors||Fliessbach, Jan, and Lisa Brunetti|
|Issue||Special Issue : Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity in Language|
We present evidence for an overlap in the discourse functions of Spanish cómo que XP ‘how thatcomplementizer’ and French comment ça ∅/XP ‘how thatdemonstrative’ interrogatives. In a corpus of examples from interviews and film scripts, we find three shared discourse functions: clarification requests, mirative questions, and expressions of disagreement. We model the relative importance of different cues for the attribution of these functions. At the construction level, the presence of a shift in grammatical person from the previous turn and the presence of linguistic material (the “remnant”) after ‘how that’ are significant factors. At the turn level, whether and how the speaker continues her turn after the interrogative replaces person-shift as significant predictor. Moreover, the difference in text genre has a significant effect, whereas language does not. We further illustrate possible prosodic cues for the three functions. We conclude that the Spanish and the French construction have overlapping discourse functions, and that morpho-syntactic, contextual, and prosodic factors need to be taken into account to distinguish between them.