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Distinguishing Two "Synonyms": A Variationist Analysis of quizá and quizás in Six Spanish Dialects
Christina García
103-112 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


There is a long-standing tradition of studies concerning mood choice in Spanish. More recently, these studies have included the use of subjunctive versus indicative in constructions that contain epistemic adverbs. This area of research is particularly interesting because traditional grammars state that the use of subjunctive in this context is optional. While previous work on mood choice with adverbs that express possibility/probability has focused on raw counts (Woehr 1979, Renaldi 1977, DeMello 1995), there are a few variationist studies that examine this linguistic phenomenon. King et al. (2008) was the first large-scale multivariate analysis to look at mood choice with a group of epistemic adverbs, specifically tal vez, quizá, quizás, posiblemente, probablemente, and found that different factors influence the choice between subjunctive and indicative for each adverb. The present study is a continuation of King et al. (2008) and focuses exclusively on mood choice with quizá and quizás in data from the CREA corpus ( for Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Spain and Venezuela. Two separate multivariate analyses of these two adverbs show that the constraints on mood choice for quizá and quizás are quite different and that beyond mood choice, the choice between quizá and quizás is conditioned by following phonological context. Thus, this study reveals that there are both functional and pragmatic differences between quizás and quizá and offers a correction of their usual representation as mere orthographic alternatives.

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