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Time Reference and Lexical Effects in Mood Choice Following Spanish Epistemic Adverb quizá(s): A Dialectal Comparison
Elizabeth Finanger
90-102 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The Romance languages have purportedly experienced loss of Subjunctive forms with corresponding extension of the Indicative and Conditional. However, in the context of the Spanish epistemic adverbs quizá(s) 'perhaps', there is evidence of an increase in use of Subjunctive (Houle and Martínez-Gómez 2009). This paper examines linguistic factors that influence variation in choice of mood following quizá(s) in modern Argentine and Peninsular Spanish. Multivariate analysis reveals that non-past time reference favors Subjunctive in both dialects, whereas with intervening material between the adverb and verb, Indicative mood is favored significantly in Peninsular data only. Finally, a clear lexeme effect is evident: when quizá(s) is followed by highly frequent verbs ser 'to be', tener 'to have', and existential and auxiliary verb haber 'to have', the Subjunctive is more likely. These findings are discussed in light of usage-based theories of grammar and can be incorporated into the Spanish language classroom.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jim Michnowicz and Robin Dodsworth
Table of contents
Printed edition: $190.00