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LINGUIST List 19.407

Mon Feb 04 2008

Diss: Disc Analysis/Pragmatics/Semantics: Zulaica: 'Demonstrative P...'

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        1.    Iker Zulaica-Hernandez:, Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish: A discourse-based study


Message 1: Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish: A discourse-based study
Date: 02-Feb-2008
From: Iker Zulaica-Hernandez: <ikerzulaicagmail.com>
Subject: Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish: A discourse-based study
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Institution: Ohio State University
Program: Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Iker Zulaica

Dissertation Title: Demonstrative Pronouns in Spanish: A discourse-based study

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Pragmatics
Semantics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)


Dissertation Director(s):
Javier Gutierrez-Rexach

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation constitutes an exploration into the discourse anaphoric
properties of Spanish demonstrative anaphors esto eso and aquello (cf.
this/that). This basic issue, largely ignored in the studies of Spanish
linguistics so far, is fully addressed here from a semantic and pragmatic
perspective. Thus, a comprehensive corpus study is carried out with an aim at
uncovering the speaker's preferences regarding the referential features of
Spanish demonstrative pronouns and a detailed study provided that explores into
the morphosyntactic and semantic nature of their most common abstract referents.

As these elements lack any sort of explicit ostension, Spanish demonstrative
pronouns have been traditionally considered as not belonging in the group of
deictic expressions. As a consequence of that, only their pronominal nature has
been taken into consideration so far when applied to their discourse behavior.
Here, I provide a characterization for Spanish demonstrative pronouns as
generalized quantifiers and defend the idea that these elements still retain a
deictic component that would allow me to group them on a par with demonstrative
determiners. This deictic component that demonstrative pronouns have, though
clearly not in the form of an overt pointing act in the canonical sense, is
rather conceived of as presuppositional in nature.

Based on the speaker's referential preferences when it comes to make use of
demonstrative pronouns to anaphorically refer in discourse to eventualities, and
attested by a corpus study carried out with that purpose, I also defend the idea
that while demonstrative pronouns esto and eso seem to have lost any trace of a
[± proximity] spatio-temporal condition, demonstrative pronoun aquello is still
marked with a [+ distal] feature. This content, which is also modeled in terms
of setting-up presuppositional DRSs for demonstrative pronouns, it also allowed
me to postulate a reduction of the tripartite system of Spanish demonstrative
pronouns into a basic binary system whereby anaphors esto and eso would be
grouped together as being unspecified with respect to proximity and aquello
being the term most frequently used in modern Spanish to mark distance along the
temporal dimension.


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