Advertisement

Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 355–376 | Cite as

Referential and Non-referential Uses of the Third Person Pronominal Subject in Spanish

  • Marcos García Salido
Article
  • 160 Downloads

Abstract

This paper studies the role of two different types of motivation that have been proposed to explain the use of subject personal pronouns in Spanish, namely their function as indications for the addressee to identify the subject’s referent, and their suitability for expressing informational values such as contrastiveness or focus. This study focuses exclusively on third-person forms and relies on conversational data. The distribution of third-person pronouns is analysed combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. It will be argued that the informational and referential properties of subject personal pronouns are by themselves insufficient to account for their expression, their occurrence depending crucially on their activation through the previous use of units of the same type.

Keywords

Pronominal subjects in Spanish Referential continuity Focus Contrast Priming 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research has been partially funded by a postdoctoral grant (Xunta de Galicia POS-A/2013/191).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Akmajian, A. (1973). The role of focus in the interpretation of anaphoric expressions. In S. R. Anderson & P. Kiparsky (Eds.), A festschrift for Morris Halle (pp. 215–226). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  2. Ariel, M. (1990). Accessing noun-phrase antecedents. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Barrenechea, A. M., & Alonso, A. (1973). Los pronombres personales sujetos en el español hablado en Buenos Aires. In K.-H. Körner & D. Beisemester (Eds.), Studia Iberica. Festschrift für Hans Flasche (pp. 75–91). Bern: Francke.Google Scholar
  4. Bentivoglio, P. (1987). Los sujetos pronominales de primera persona en el habla de Caracas. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela.Google Scholar
  5. Bock, J. K., & Griffin, Z. (2000). The persistence of structural priming: Transient activation or implicit learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 129(2), 177–192.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Blanco Canales, A. (1999). Presencia ausencia de sujeto pronominal de primera persona en español. Español Actual, 72, 31–39.Google Scholar
  7. Cabedo, A., & Pons, S. (Eds) (2013). Corpus Val.Es.Co 2.0. http://www.valesco.es.
  8. Cameron, R., & Flores-Ferrán, N. (2004). Preservation of subject expression across regional dialects of Spanish. Spanish in Context, 1(1), 41–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chafe, W. L. (1976). Giveness, contrastiveness, definiteness, subjects, topics and point of view. In C. N. Li (Ed.), Subject and Topic (pp. 25–56). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Dell, G., Burger, L., & Svec, W. (1997). Language production and serial order: A functional analysis and a model. Psychological Review, 104, 123–147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Dik, S. C. (1997). The theory of functional grammar. Part I: The structure of the clause (2nd ed.). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  12. Enríquez, E. (1984). El pronombre personal sujeto en la lengua española hablada en Madrid. Madrid: CSIC.Google Scholar
  13. Fernández Ramírez, S. (1987[1951]). Gramática española. Vol. 3/2: El pronombre. Madrid: Arco Libros.Google Scholar
  14. Fernández Soriano, O. (1999). El pronombre personal. Formas y distribuciones. In I. Bosque & V. Demonte (Eds.), Gramática descriptiva de la lengua española (Vol. 1, pp. 1208–1272).Google Scholar
  15. García Salido, M. (2013). La expresión pronominal de sujeto y objetos en español. Santiago de Compostela: Servizo de publicacións da USC.Google Scholar
  16. Givón, T. (2002). Biolinguistics: The Santa Barbara Lectures. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldberg, A. (2006). Constructions at work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Halliday, M. A. K. (1967). Notes on transitivity and theme in English. Part 2. Journal of Linguistics, 3(2), 199–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuno, S. (1972). Functional sentence perspective: A case study from Japanese and English. Linguistic Inquiry, 3, 269–320.Google Scholar
  20. Lambrecht, K. (1994). Information structure and sentence form: Topic, focus and the mental representations of discourse referents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lavandera, B. (1978). Where does the sociolinguistic variable stop? Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, 40, 6–24.Google Scholar
  22. Luján, M. (1999). Expresión y omisión del pronombre personal. In I. Bosque & V. Demonte (Eds.), Gramática descriptiva de la lengua española (Vol. 1, pp. 1275–1315). Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.Google Scholar
  23. Martín Butragueño, P. (2005). La construcción prosódica de la estructura focal en español. In G. Knauer & V. Bellosta (Eds.), Variación sintáctica en español. Un reto para las teorías de la sintaxis (pp. 117–144). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  24. Matos Amaral, P., & Schwenter. S. A. (2005). Contrast and the (non-) ocurrence of subject pronouns. In D. Eddington (Ed.), Selected Proceedings of the 7th Hispanic Linguistic Symposium. Massachussets: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. http://www.lingref.com, document # 1092.
  25. Posio, P. (2011). Spanish subject pronoun usage and verb semantics revisited: First and second person singular subject pronouns and focusing of attention in spoken Peninsular Spanish. Journal of Pragmatics, 43, 777–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Posio, P. (2012). The functions of postverbal pronominal subjects in spoken Peninsular Spanish and European Portuguese. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 5(1), 149–190.Google Scholar
  27. Real Academia Española, Asociación de Academias de la Lengua española. (2009). Nueva gramática de la lengua española. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe.Google Scholar
  28. Romaine, S. (1981). On the problem of syntactic variation: A reply to Beatriz Lavandera and William Labov. Sociolinguistic Working Paper, 82, 1–38.Google Scholar
  29. Rosengren, P. (1974). Presencia y ausencia de los pronombres personales sujetos en español moderno. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.Google Scholar
  30. Samper Padilla, J. A., Hernández Cabrera, C. E.,&, Troya Déniz, M. (2006). Presencia/ausencia del sujeto pronominal de primera persona singular en la norma culta de España. In C. Company Company (Ed.), El español en América. Diatopía, diacronía e historia (pp. 87–109). México: UNAM.Google Scholar
  31. Sankoff, D., Tagliamonte, S. A., & Smith, E. (2012). Goldvarb Lion: A multivariate analysis application for Macintosh. http://www.tarkvara.org/goldvarb/GoldVarb30b8.dmg.
  32. Silva-Corvalán, C. (1982). Subject expression and placement in Mexican-American Spanish. In A. J & L. Elías-Olivares (Eds.), Spanish in the United States: Sociolinguistics aspects (pp. 93–120). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Tagliamonte, S. A. (2006). Analysing sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Travis, C. E. (2005). The yo-yo effect: Priming in subject expression in Colombian Spanish. In R. Gess & E. J. Rubin (Eds.), Selected papers from the 34th linguistic symposium on romance languages (LSRL), Salt Lake City, 2004 (pp. 329–349). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  35. Travis, C. E., & Torres-Cacoullos, R. (2012). What do subjects in discourse? Cognitive, mechanical and constructional factors in variation. Cognitive Linguistics, 23(4), 711–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zubizarreta, M. L. (1999). Las funciones informativas: tema y foco. In I. Bosque & V. Demonte (Eds.), Volume 3 (pp. 4215–4245).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Languages and Literatures, LyS Research Team, Faculty of PhilologyUniversidade da CoruñaA CoruñaSpain

Personalised recommendations