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19. Mood: Indicative vs. Subjunctive


Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Syntax

Key-Topics generative grammar, grammar

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00021.x


Moods constitute a manifestation of modality. This category reflects the speaker’s attitude towards propositional contents, more specifically the various forms in which statements are interpreted under the influence of semantic environments, whether hypothetical or real. Moods are verbal inflections reflecting modality. They may directly encode grammatical differences related to speech acts, as in the subjunctive form tenga in ¡Tenga un buen día! ‘Have a nice day!,’ as opposed to the indicative tiene in Tiene un buen día ‘S/he is having a nice day.’ In many cases, moods are induced or triggered by various grammatical categories in restricted syntactic contexts, for example the preposition sin ‘without’ in sin que tú lo {supieras/*sabías} ‘without you {knowing-SUBJ./knowing-IND.}.’ There exists an abundant theoretical literature on the Spanish verbal moods, written in several frameworks, as well as many traditional and descriptive studies on this topic. Overviews may be found in Lleó (1979) , Manteca Alonso-Cortés (1981) , Borrego et. al. (1986), Bosque (1990) , Porto Dapena (1991) , and Ahern (2009), among others. Extensive chapters are devoted to the description of moods in recent grammars of Spanish. See Ridruejo (1999) , Pérez Saldanya (1999) and RAE-ASALE (2009 : ch. 25). General presentations of the subjunctive mood in current theoretical linguistics may ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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