The emergence and syntax of "sí que" in Catalan


  • Afra Pujol i Campeny Université Côte d'Azur



Catalan, Positive Polarity, Epistemic Modality


In this article I investigate the syntax of Modern Catalan sí que, a construction involving the adverb sí followed by the complementiser que. I show that (i) it is used to express strong speaker commitment together with positive polarity in the scope of nonveridical operators, and (ii) that it consists in a biclausal structure. The emergence of sí que is shown to be the result of three factors: (i) the grammaticalisation of the manner adverb sí into an epistemic and positive polarity adverb, (ii) the decline and loss of the homophonous consecutive adverbial subordinator sí que, and (iii) the emergence of a paradigm of constructions consisting of a modal adverb followed by a complement clause headed by que.