It is well-established that one of the main communicative functions of subject pronouns (SPs) in pro-drop languages like Spanish or European Portuguese is to mark contrast. Moreover, for many researchers the occurrence of SPs in contrastive contexts is considered obligatory; however, the supposed obligatory nature of SPs in contrastive contexts has never been questioned in the literature. It is demonstrated that the occurrence of overt SPs in certain contrastive contexts is not necessarily obligatory. Thus, no special contrastive function should be ascribed to SPs; they are just one means, albeit a frequent one, to overtly index contrast in discourse.
Selected Proceedings of the 7th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by David Eddington
Table of contents