Chapter

Mirative and Focusing Uses of the Catalan Particle <i>pla</i>*

Gemma Rigau

in Functional Heads

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746736
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949519 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746736.003.0007

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Mirative and Focusing Uses of the Catalan Particle pla*

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This chapter presents different types of pla in Catalan. In its basic use, pla coappears with some certain quantifiers to act as an epistemic modality adverb. In addition to modifying quantifiers, pla can act as a focal marker. It argues that this role of pla comes from its basic meaning as an epistemic modal adverb, which allows it to focalize a sentential constituent in order either to “overpass” implicitly a situation expressed in the preceding discourse or deny it. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the properties of pla acting as a ponderative quantifier, which gives to the sentence a mirative meaning (pla1). Section 3 studies the use of pla as a focus element related with the negative meaning of the sentence (pla2). Section 4 deals with the emphatic role of pla in reinforcing a bare quantifier (pla3). Finally, Section 5 emphasizes the idea that the three types of pla have a common function: their role of focus markers. More specifically, they are different instances of a quantifier that can be engaged in different functional positions thereby realizing different features.

Keywords: Catalan; pla; epistemic modal adverb; focal marker; ponderative quantifier; focus element; negative meaning; emphatic role

Chapter.  4811 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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