Assertive <i>Bien</i> in Spanish and the Left Periphery

M. Lluïsa Hernanz

in Mapping the Left Periphery

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199740376
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895304 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Assertive Bien in Spanish and the Left Periphery

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This chapter addresses the study of emphatic affirmative sentences in Spanish and their connection with a variety of phenomena in the broad area of negative polarity and modality. It focuses on the analysis of the adverb bien (literally, ‘well’) when used as an assertive particle. It is argued that assertive bien is a twofold positive marker which encapsulates two values: an affirmative meaning and an emphatic interpretation. In order to capture both sides of the nature of bien, it is claimed that bien moves from the low functional phrase (PolarityP) hosting polarity markers to a high position on the left periphery, namely FocusP. In this connection, relevant evidence is provided to show that the syntax of bien-sentences shares salient properties with that of wh-sentences. Finally, the proposed analysis also predicts a variety of appealing grammatical effects that parallel other phenomena independently attested in the linguistic literature.

Keywords: polarity; affirmative; negative; emphatic; assertive; presuppositional; focus; topic; mood; degree; manner; concessive

Chapter.  16487 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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