Laura González López and Andreas Trotzke
¡Mira! The grammar-attention interface in the Spanish left periphery
The Linguistic Review, Published online February 15, 2021
Abstract: In this paper, we focus on Spanish hearer-oriented particles like the highly frequent verb-based particle mira (lit. ‘look’). We provide a detailed syntactic account of these particles by demonstrating (i) that they must be distinguished from both vocative/appellative and expressive/exclamative particles, and (ii) that they feature illocutionary restrictions familiar from the class of discourse particles in languages other than Spanish. Since our proposal locates mira in the information-structural layer of the clause and, at the same time, demonstrates its sensitivity to the illocutionary component of sentence interpretation, we thus raise more general questions about the interaction between the syntax of speech acts and the syntactic encoding of information structure.
Keywords: information structure; particles; Spanish; speech-act syntax; vocative