'Exclamative' and 'quotative' illocutionary complementisers in Catalan, European Portuguese and Spanish: a study in Ibero-Romance syntactic 'near-synonmy'

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The use of the Ibero-Romance complementiser que in non-embedded contexts with various illocutionary functions is argued to be non-trivially distinct from its canonical function as a marker of subordination. Interpretative and grammatical differences, as well as variation in the availability and clause-typing of non-embedded ‘exclamative’ and ‘quotative’ illocutionary QUE across Catalan, European Portuguese and Spanish provide evidence that the subordinating complementiser has been repurposed for the representation of pragmatic information in the complementiser systems of Ibero-Romance, a hypothesis supported by analogies drawn between illocutionary QUE and illocutionary functions of the interrogative complementiser si/se in Catalan and European Portuguese.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-98
Number of pages30
JournalLanguages in contrast
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


  • Peninsular Ibero-Romance, illocutionary complementisers, syntax-pragmatics interface, main clause phenomena, Catalan, Peninsular Spanish, /European Portuguese, Linguistics, syntax, Romance languages, Romance linguistics