A cognitive map of indicative and subjunctive mood use in Spanish

Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (1):99-133 (2001)

Of general interest, this study confirms the syntactic manifestation of the interpersonal dynamics of the participants in discourse and of their high-level cognitive processes therein. More specifically, this study formalizes categories of the Spanish indicative and subjunctive in a cognitive map based on the deictic organization of the Spanish mood system. This cognitive map, based on a pragmasyntactic approach to mood use, allows us to view mood in Spanish as a mechanism that establishes metaphorical distance from the individual’s here and now. This study treats the indicative and subjunctive moods of Spanish with special attention to the so-called ‘factive’ clauses [those clauses subordinated to matrices of subjective comment such asme alegro que,es bueno que,no me gusta que, etc. and mental act matrices such asdarse cuenta de que,tomar en consideración que, etc.]. We propose an approach to analyzing mood use that is based on the information value of an utterance in discourse. In considering information value we take into account Lambrecht’s work featuring presuppositions as inherent parts of certain syntactical structures; Mejías-Bikandi’s claim that the subjective comment structure in Spanish inherently contains a pragmatic presupposition; Mejías-Bikandi’s reaffirmation that assertion is the role of the indicative and non-assertion is the role of the subjunctive in Spanish; Lunn’s suggestion that the indicative is used to assert propositions with high information value while the subjunctive’s role is to not assert propositions with low information value; and Lambrecht’s ideas on what constitutes information. We assume that non-assertion, including pragmatic presupposition, and asserted propositions work together to create the relative information value of utterances. We show how the information value of utterances can be organized by means of deixis to create a cognitive map. The graphic design for the three dimensional version, which incorporates the notion of the time line with that of metaphorical distance from any individual’s deictic center, was inspired by Langacker’s Cognitive Gram- mar.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/pc.9.1.05gre
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,474
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Instructions or Dominion?Rainer Vesterinen - 2013 - Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):359-379.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #438,898 of 2,273,285 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #320,037 of 2,273,285 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature