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[890]

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Electronic Mail Pen Pals

Barbara Phillips

Rock Bridge Sr. High School

Columbia, Mo

     Abstract: Electronic mail can be an effective tool for practicing authentic language and learning cultural information in the Spanish classroom.

     Key words: electronic mail, e-mail, pen pal, computer, culture

     The electronic mails are a wonderful resource for the Spanish classroom. By using electronic mail, students can have an authentic audience for their writings and a real purpose. Teachers no longer have to create artificial situations to provide reading and writing opportunities. At the same time students and teachers can learn cultural, political, and social information about other countries that would be difficult to find in traditional print sources.

     This past year our advanced students in the Spanish American Studies course (Spanish IV and V) each had one or more electronic pen pals from Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Argentina, and Mexico. Some of the pen pals live in their native countries, while others are working or studying in a country other than their own. The assignment the students carry out is to learn about the country of their pen pal: what it is like today?-the type of information that is not normally found in the library. The students receive a rubric or outline like the one that appears below, which provides specific topics they are to include. All letters are to be written in Spanish and should provide information as well as request it. For example, if students ask how their pen pal celebrates Christmas, they should tell what they do to celebrate. At the end of the quarter, the students write a paper compiling the information they have obtained from their pen pal, expressing it in their own words in Spanish. They also attach the original correspondence. At the conclusion of the project, each student gives an oral presentation in Spanish to the class, sharing the most interesting information he or she has learned.

     The following items have proved to make the project go smoothly:

1. Teachers can obtain pen pals by sending a request to electronic bulletin boards, such as those listed below. In the message the teacher should explain a little about the expectations and request that the pen pals should not have resided outside their native country for more than five years.

      Argentina:
Argentina-request@asterix.eng.buffalo.edu
Central America:
listserv@ubvm.bitnet
Chile:
listserv@purccvm.bitnet
Colombia:
listserv@andescol.bitnet
Mexico:
listserv@tecmtyvm.mty.itesm.mx

     2. If there are a limited number of computers equipped with modems, the students can use a word processor and save their letters to an ASCII text file. Later they can upload the letter into the e-mail system and send it out. [891]

     3. When using a class account or a teacher's individual account, it is helpful, if the system supports it, to set up an address book for the pen pals' addresses, using the student's name as the nickname.

     4. If students have individual accounts, they should send a carbon copy of each letter they write to the teacher and forward each letter they receive to the teacher, who can thus monitor their efforts and offer any necessary assistance.

     5. The teacher should provide an outline to give the students direction. For additional flexibility, students can substitute their own topics with prior teacher permission. It is best to explain each topic carefully to the students.

     6. A minimum schedule for mailing letters should be established.

     7. The students should be advised that for the best answers they should only ask one or two questions per letter. They should be prepared to ask follow-up questions if their pen pal's response is not specific or detailed.

     8. Keeping a file of additional names will insure substitutes in case anyone has a pen pal who is too busy to write or who gives inappropriate responses.

     9. If any of the pen pals are college students or professors, it may be necessary to allow for their extended breaks between semesters.

     Although there were some frustrations in our first attempt at using electronic mails, a number of my students are continuing to write their pen pals even though it is no longer required. On the whole, the students indicated that they learned a good deal about the countries of their pen pals from the experience.

     Teachers may adapt these suggestions to their specific situations in other educational settings so that their students can benefit also from the new technologies to correspond with their peers in Spanish.

Nada Poca infor mación Algunos detalles básicos Suficientes detalles para hacerlo interesante
0 -2 -4 -6

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Diversiones

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Racismo/Discriminación

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Educación

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Comida

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Gobierno/Actitud

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Manifestaciones

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Días de fiesta

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Algo único

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Diferencias entre EE. UU y el país/estereotipos

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Otro aspecto escogido

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THEORETICAL LINGUISTICS

Prepared by John Lipski

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Assertion and Speaker's Intention: A Pragmatically Based Account of Mood in Spanish

Errapel Mejías-Bikandi

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

     Abstract: This article reexamines Terrell and Hooper's claim that the indicative is the mood of assertion and the subjunctive is the mood of non-assertion. It discusses the counterexamples to this claim and proposes an alternative analysis based on a pragmatic definition of the notion of assertion and within the semantic framework of Mental Spaces (Fauconnier 1985). Under this analysis, the indicative mood is used in a complement clause when the intention of the speaker is to indicate that the information expressed in that clause is contained in the domain that represents some individual's view of reality. The discussion shows that this analysis does not face the empirical difficulties that Terrell and Hooper's analysis and other previous analyses faced and, consequently, argues that understanding the pragmatic context of an utterance is crucial to characterize the distribution of mood in Spanish.

     Key Words: indicative mood, subjunctive mood, assertion, speaker's intention, Mental Spaces, semantics, pragmatics, relevance

     As is well known, some matrix clauses in Spanish require the use of the indicative mood in the complement clause, whereas other matrix clauses allow the complement verb to appear in the subjunctive mood. The goal of this article is to provide a generalization that predicts the distribution of the indicative and the subjunctive mood in complement clauses in Spanish. A generalization will be proposed that is based on the notion of assertion. Terrell and Hooper (1974) first pointed out the correlation between the use of the indicative mood in complement clauses in Spanish and the semantic notion of assertion. They stated the following generalization: When the proposition expressed by the complement clause is asserted, this clause appears in the indicative mood; when the proposition expressed by the complement clause is not asserted, the complement clause appears in the subjunctive mood. However, Terrell and Hooper themselves and other researchers (see, for instance, Schane 1994) have noted that the correlation between assertion and the indicative mood was not perfect, and that there were some exceptions to their generalization. (16)

     This article argues for the validity of Terrell and Hooper's initial generalization and shows that the apparent counterexamples arise from an ill-conceived notion of assertion. Following Grice, Austin and Strawson, among others, (17) will regard the notion of communication-intention as crucial to understanding assertion. Thus, whether a proposition is asserted or not depends, not so much on whether that proposition is true or false, but on what are the intentions of the speaker when s/he decides to present the information expressed by the proposition to a particular audience. Under this view, a speaker asserts a proposition P when the speaker intends the audience to believe that the speaker holds the belief expressed by P. I propose to elaborate this notion of assertion in the following way: a speaker asserts a proposition P when the intention of the speaker is to indicate that P describes the world as s/he or some other individual perceives it. When it is not the intention of the speaker to indicate that P represents some individual's view of the world, the speaker will not assert P. (18) To the extent that this definition of assertion makes crucial use of the notion of speaker's intention, it is pragmatic [893] in nature. In this sense, the analysis developed here offers a pragmatic account of the distribution of mood in Spanish. (19) Under the proposed analysis, cases that are apparently problematic no longer constitute exceptions to Terrell and Hooper's initial generalization. In addition, I will review other alternative analyses that have been proposed to account for the distribution of mood in complement clauses and show that these alternative analyses run into empirical difficulties, difficulties that are not faced by the analysis presented here.

     The discussion is organized in the following way. The first section introduces Terrell and Hooper's analysis and discusses the problematic data. Section 2 briefly describes the theoretical framework, Mental Spaces, within which the analysis will be presented. Section 3 shows how the new notion of assertion enables us to account for the apparent counterexamples to Terrell and Hooper's generalization. Section 4 discusses the use of mood with verbs such as creer, saber and darse cuenta de. Section 5 briefly discusses other previous analyses and possible extensions of the present analysis. The final section presents concluding remarks.

     1. Terrell and Hooper put forward the hypothesis that the choice of mood in Spanish is directly correlated with what the sentence as a whole expresses about the truth of the proposition included in the sentence (Terrell and Hooper 1974: 484). A proposition in a sentence may be asserted, may be presupposed, or may be neither asserted nor presupposed. Terrell and Hooper divide sentences into six classes, and study the correlation between these six types of sentences, the notions of assertion and presupposition, and the choice of mood. They provide the following chart:

      Semantic Notion Class Mood
(a) Assertion (I) Assertion Indicative
(II) Report Indicative
(b) Presupposition (III) Mental Act Indicative
(IV) Comment Subjunctive
(c) Neither (V) Doubt Subjunctive
(VI) Imperative Subjunctive

     The semantic notion of assertion is manifested in two different types of sentences: assertions, which assert a proposition, and reports, which describe the manner in which asserted information was conveyed. Sentences (1) and (2) constitute examples of these two types respectively:

      (1) Es seguro que Juan viene mañana
(2) Me dijo que Juan viene mañana

     In (1), the speaker asserts that John is coming tomorrow. In (2) the proposition expressed by the clause Juan viene mañana is asserted, and the matrix phrase indicates how the assertion was conveyed. As (1) and (2) show, the complement in both cases appear in the indicative mood.

     The semantic notion of presupposition is correlated with another two types of sentences: (20) sentences that describe mental acts, and sentences that express comments about some proposition. These two types of sentences are illustrated in (3) and (4) respectively:

      (3) Se dio cuenta de que Pedro estaba allí
(4) Me alegro de que María venga mañana.

     The complement of sentences (3) and (4) is presupposed, as is shown by the fact that negating the matrix phrase does not change the truth value of the embedded proposition. However, the complement in (3) appears in the indicative mood, whereas the complement in (4) appears in the subjunctive mood.

     Finally, there are some cases in which a proposition is neither asserted nor presupposed. This occurs when the sentence expresses doubt or uncertainty about a proposition, or when the sentence is an imperative, including matrixes of volition, suasion or influence (softened imperatives). Sentences (5) and (6) respectively constitute examples of these two types of sentences:

      (5) Dudo que María venga mañana [894]
(6) Quiero que María venga mañana

     In (5) and (6) the proposition expressed by the complement is not asserted (the speaker is not committing himself/herself to the truth of such proposition) neither presupposed (the proposition is not assumed to be true). In both sentences the verb of the complement clause appears in the subjunctive mood.

     The analysis points to an almost perfect correlation between the semantic notion of assertion and the indicative mood, and between non-assertion and the subjunctive mood. There is one exception to this correlation, and that is sentences whose matrix phrase describe a mental act, as in (3). As we have seen, the complement in these sentences is presupposed, not asserted. Consequently, the analysis predicts that the verb of the complement will appear in the subjunctive mood. However, it appears in the indicative mood.

     Schane (1994) notices another problem for Terrell and Hooper's analysis. He discusses verbs such as prometer sentences such as (7):

      (7) Prometo que iré a trabajar mañana

Schane points out that the complement of prometer in (7) is neither asserted nor presupposed. In this sense, the complement of prometer is similar to the complement of querer. Consequently, Terrell and Hooper's analysis predicts that the verb of the complement will appear in the subjunctive mood. However, the verb appears in the indicative mood, as sentence (7) shows.

     Finally, consider sentences such as (8):

      (8) Creo que María está enferma

     According to Terrell and Hooper's original work, the complement of creer is asserted, and that explains the use of the indicative mood in (8). (21) However, this claim is to some extent counterintuitive. The use of the verb creer by the speaker in (8) seems to indicate a certain degree of uncertainty, similar to that found in clauses introduced by probablemente (which may be followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood).

     The discrepancies between Terrell and Hooper's schema and some of the data led some researches to disregard the notion of assertion as the relevant notion to understand the indicative/subjunctive contrast in complement clauses in Spanish. Thus, Bergen (1978) argues that the relevant parameter is whether the information provided in the complement clause is regarded as an objective fact or not. Schane (1994) resorts to the notion of speaker/subject responsibility. Other researchers have looked back at the notion of assertion, providing a more elaborate taxonomy of assertive predicates and distinguishing between different degrees of assertion. This is the case for Hooper (1975) and Terrell (1976). In a similar vein, Lunn (1989) introduces a prototype of assertability and the notion of relevance in the discussion of mood. In this work, I will also reconsider the role of assertion in the characterization of the distribution of mood in complement clauses. However, rather than characterizing this notion as a continuum, I will offer an explicit pragmatic definition of assertion that will allow us to maintain Terrell and Hooper initial generalization.

2.1. Let us assume that the knowledge that the speaker has about the world can be represented in propositional form. (22) That is, there is domain R(s) that contains the propositions that represent what the speaker regards as objective reality. Similarly, there is a domain R(h) that represents what the speaker believes is the hearer's view of reality. In general, for any person a there is a domain R(a) that contains the propositions that describe what the speaker believes is a's view of reality. For example, consider a sentence such as (9):

      (9) Peter believes that Susan is sick

     The speaker that utters (9) is indicating that, according to his/her view of the world, in Peter's view of the world Mary is sick. We can represent this as in (90'), where R(s) represents [895] the speaker's view of the world and R(p) represents (the speaker's view of) Peter's view of reality and P represents the proposition expressed by the complement clause (that is, that Mary is sick): (23)

     Following Fauconnier (1985), I will call the domains R(s) and R(p) Mental Spaces, I will say that R(p) is embedded in R(s) and that R(s) is the parent space of R(p). I will also say that P is contained in R(p). (24)

     2.2. The semantic notion of assertion that was used by Terrell and Hooper abstracts away from the speaker and the context of an utterance. Thus, whether a proposition is asserted or not, depends on whether it is true for the speaker and whether it is logically presupposed. The notion of assertion I wish to consider is one that makes reference to the speaker's intention and to the representation that the speaker has of reality (and the representation that the speaker has of some other individual's representation of reality). I propose the following definition: a speaker asserts a proposition P when the speaker intends to indicate that P is contained in some space R, that is, when the speaker intends to indicate that P provides information about some individual's view of reality.

     2.3. There is one important difference between the notion of assertion as defined above and the notion of assertion as understood by Terrell and Hooper. In the present study, the notion of assertion is defined independently of the notion of logical presupposition. (25) Traditionally, and in Terrell and Hooper's original work, asserted information has been equated with non-presupposed information, and presupposed information with non-asserted information. These correspondences do not follow from the definition given above. This will be crucial to explain some of the problematic data.

     Under the definition used here, the fact that a speaker does not assert a proposition P does not imply that the speaker does not regard, or that the speaker pretends that s/ he does not regard, P as describing an objective, established fact. A speaker will not assert a proposition P when s/he does not intend to indicate that P belongs to some space R. When the speaker does not believe, or is not sure, that P is true, obviously the speaker will not assert P. But, as will become clear later, there are other imaginable circumstances under which the speaker will not assert a proposition, even if s/he regards the proposition as true. It is important to stress this point since there has traditionally been a tendency (see for instance RAE 1973) to correlate the indicative mood with what is known or experienced by the speaker, whereas the subjunctive mood has been correlated with what is not known or not experienced by the speaker. It will become evident in the discussion of the data that these correspondences face serious empirical difficulties.

     Having the new definition of assertion in mind, I propose to reconsider Terrell and Hooper's initial analysis. Again, the goal is to state a generalization that predicts the use of mood in complement clauses in Spanish. The claim that I will explore is that asserted complements, in the intended sense, appear in the indicative mood whereas nonasserted complements appear in the subjunctive mood. For the analysis, I will rely on what the matrix clause, by virtue of its meaning, tells us about the intentions of the speaker that utters the sentence.

     3.1. Let us start with sentences that represent doubt or uncertainty, and sentences that represent imperatives. These are examples such as (11) and (12): (26)

      (11) Dudo/ no es seguro/ es probable que [896] María esté enferma
(12) Quiero/ es necesario que Maria venga mañana

     In the case of (11), the speaker is obviously not presenting P as part of any space R, rather, the speaker is expressing uncertainty about the truth of P. Consequently, the prediction is that the subjunctive mood will be used in the complement clause, as is in fact the case. Similarly, it is obviously not the case that the intention of the speaker that utters (12) is to indicate that it is a fact that Mary comes tomorrow. The speaker regards the eventuation of P as something desirable, but s/he is not indicating that P is the case. Consequently, P is not asserted and the subjunctive is used.

     Consider next the class of comments, where the complement is logically presupposed. The relevant examples are sentences such as (13):

      (13) Me alegro de/ qué bien/ qué lástima que María venga mañana.

     In (13) the speaker obviously regards P as an objective fact, as describing the world as s/he perceives it. In this sense, P expresses the speaker's view of the world. However, the speaker that utters (13) does not intend to indicate that P belongs to R(s) because P is assumed to belong to the mutual knowledge of speaker and hearer. If I utter (13), 1 not only assume that my interlocutor knows that P, but also that my interlocutor assumes that I know that P. This is required in order for an utterance such as (13) to be felicitous. My intention in uttering (13) must not be to indicate that Mary comes tomorrow, since this I take as information that belongs to the mutual knowledge, and I just want to comment on that information. Consequently, the speaker does not assert P, and the prediction is that the subjunctive will be used. (27)

     Let us finally consider cases of assertion, in Terrell and Hooper's sense. These are cases in which the speaker is intending to communicate to a hearer that P is contained in some space R. Consider sentences (14) and (15):

      (14) Es seguro/ es obvio/ es evidente que Juan viene mañana
(15) María dice que Juan viene mañana

     The speaker that utters (14) has the intention of indicating that P belongs to R(s), presumably with the intention that the hearer H adopts such proposition as part of R(h), and thus to make P part of the shared knowledge. In the case of (15), the intention of the speaker is to indicate that P is regarded as true by Mary; that is, that P is contained in R(m). Consequently, the complements of (14) and (15) are both asserted and, thus, the prediction is that the verb of these complements will appear in the indicative mood.

     The discussion above shows that the cases that were accounted for under Terrell and Hooper's analysis are also accounted for under this analysis. Let us consider now the cases that were exceptions to Terrell and Hooper's generalization and see how we can accommodate those cases under the present analysis.

3.2. The problematic sentences were sentences such as (16):

      (16) Pedro se ha dado cuenta de que tienes razón

     Remember that the problem was that the complement of sentences such as (16) is logically presupposed, and, still, the indicative mood is used. Under Terrell and Hooper's analysis, since the complement is presupposed, it is not asserted and, consequently, the verb of the complement should appear in the subjunctive mood, which is not the case. We can contrast sentence (16) with (17) below:

      (17) Pedro se alegra de que tengas razón

     In both cases the complement is logically presupposed. Notice, however, that the intention of the speaker that utters these two sentences is different. As we saw above, the [897] intention of the speaker that utters (17) is not to indicate that P is true for him/her or for other person. The complement of (17) is assumed to belong to the shared knowledge, the speaker is just commenting on the proposition expressed by the complement. On the other hand, the meaning of the matrix phrase in (16) is such that the intention of the speaker that utters (16) is precisely to indicate that the proposition expressed by the complement clause is true for Pedro. In other words, the intention of the speaker that utters (16) is to indicate that P is contained in R(p). Consequently, under the definition presented here, the speaker that utters (16) is asserting P, in spite of the fact that P is logically presupposed. This same analysis can be naturally extended to account for the use of mood in the complement of other matrixes that describe mental acts, such as veo que or sé que.

     To summarize, the notion of assertion does in fact correlate with the indicative mood, provided that we assume the notion of assertion presented in section 2. On the other hand, non-assertion correlates with the subjunctive mood. The notion of logical presupposition is not correlated with the subjunctive mood, and logical presupposition is not incompatible with the notion of assertion in the intended sense. What is relevant is not whether a proposition P is logically presupposed, but whether the intention of the speaker is to indicate that P is part of his/her or someone else's world view. Thus, the difficulties that Terrell and Hooper noted for their analysis are overcome. I will now examine the problem posed by commissives, discussed in Schane (1994).

3.3. Commissives are similar to volition verbs in that the complement is neither asserted nor presupposed in the standard sense. However, contrast (18) and (19) below:

      (18) Quiero que María venga mañana
(19) Prometo que iré a trabajar mañana

     If our analysis is correct, there must a be a sense in which the complement clause in (18) is not asserted, whereas the complement in (19) is asserted. The speaker that utters (19) is making a claim about how the world is going to be in the future (tomorrow). In this sense, sentence (19) constitutes an assertion in the same sense that a simple sentence in the future tense is an assertion. The intention of the speaker that utters (19) is to indicate what conditions are going to hold in the world at some future time, and in this case the speaker feels that s/he has the authority or the power to make claims about the future. (28) On the other hand, in sentence (18) the speaker is not indicating that P is going to be true in the future, the speaker is just presenting a wish as to how does s/he want to the world to be, but s/he is not making the claim that Mary will come tomorrow, presumably because whether Mary comes or not is beyond the speaker's control.

3.4.1. Let us consider now sentences such as (20):

      (20) Creo que María está enferma

     Remember that sentences such as (20) are apparently problematic because, although the speaker seems to be expressing uncertainty about the truth of the complement, the complement appears in the indicative mood. I will argue, however, that the complement in (20) is asserted in the intended sense. The feeling of uncertainty in (20) will be argued to be the result of the particular spatial configuration that this sentence gives rise to.

3.4.2. Imagine that I utter Mary is sick. My intention in uttering this sentence appears to be to make an objective statement about reality as it is. However, as has been observed on several occasions, a more precise interpretation of what I mean when I utter 'Mary is sick' would be the following: according to my view of the world, it is the case that Mary is sick. In other words, my statement will never be an objective statement about the world as it is, but rather, a [898] subjective statement about the world as I perceive it. This stem's form the fact that as human beings our perception of reality is limited by our own subjectivity, or by our own perspective. This intuition is captured within the Mental Spaces framework by always presenting the space of the speaker's reality, R(s), as the parent space relative to which all statements are evaluated. Thus, when I say Mary is sick, what I am in fact saying is that (I believe that) Mary is sick. When I utter a sentence such as (20) above, I am just making explicit what is implicit whenever an assertion is made: that an assertion is always made from the speaker's perspective. Consider now a sentence such as (21):

      (21) Pedro cree que María está enferma

The complement in (21) is asserted, since it is the intention of the speaker to present P (=Mary is sick) as true for Peter. However, the fact that P is true for an individual does not make P necessarily true. Consider again the case of (20). The complement of (20) is asserted in the same sense that the complement of (21) is asserted. In (20) the speaker is saying that P is true for an individual, in this the case this individual is the speaker. As in the case of (21), the fact that P is true for an individual, does not make P necessarily true. There the feeling of uncertainty. Still, it is the intention of the speaker that utters (20) to claim that P is true for himself/herself. The speaker is also acknowledging explicitly what is implicit whenever an assertion is made: that our view of the world is limited, and that in fact s/he may be wrong. There is in (20) a process of objectification of the speaker: the speaker presents himself/herself, not as a privileged objective observer, but as another individual whose view of the world may be imperfect. In both (20) and (21), the speaker's intention is to indicate that P is contained in some space R. Consequently, in both cases the proposition expressed by the complement is asserted and the verb of the complement appears in the indicative mood.

     After the review of the relevant data, we may conclude that the notion of assertion that was introduced in section 2 enables us to maintain Terrell and Hooper's original insight while avoiding the empirical difficulties that their analysis faced. In the next section I discuss the distribution of mood with matrix predicates such as creer, saber and darse cuenta de.

     4.1. A negative matrix clause generally allows the use of the subjunctive mood in the complement, as (22) shows:

      (22) María no cree que Pedro esté enfermo

     However, there are some matrix clauses that require the use of the indicative in the complement clause even when they are negated, as in (23) and (24):

      (23) María no sabe que Pedro está/?? esté enfermo
(24) María no se ha dado cuenta de que Pedro está/?? esté enfermo

     Whereas a negative matrix clause with the verb creer 'to believe' allows the use of the subjunctive in the complement clause, a negative matrix clause with predicates such as saber or darse cuenta de in the present tense requires the use of the indicative in the complement clause. (29) In this section I will show that this asymmetry is predicted by the analysis proposed here.

4.2. Consider a sentence such as (25) below:

      (25) María cree que Pedro está enfermo

     The speaker that utters (25) is indicating that P (=Peter is sick) is true for Mary, but the speaker is not committing himself/herself to the truth of P. It might be the case that Mary believes that Peter is sick but the speaker does not believe so.

     Consider on the other hand sentences (26) and (27):

      (26) María sabe que Pedro está enfermo [899]
  (27) María se ha dado cuenta de que Pedro está enfermo

     The speaker that utters (26) is not only indicating that P (=Peter is sick) is true for Mary, but that P is also true for the speaker. That is, by using the predicate saber or darse cuenta de the speaker is indicating that s/ he is committing himself/herself to the truth of the proposition. This is not the case when the speaker uses the verb creer, as in (25). Thus, contrast the unnatural (28) with (29): (30)

      (28) ?? María sabe que Pedro está enfermo, pero yo no lo sé
(2 9) María cree que Pedro está enfermo, pero yo no lo creo

     The speaker that utters (26) and (27) is not only indicating that P is contained in the space that represents Mary's view of reality, R(m), but also that P is contained in the space that represents the speaker's view of reality, R(s).

     Consider now what happens when we negate these matrix clauses. If the speaker negates (25), as in (22), the speaker is not presenting P as part of any space R. The speaker is saying that some information is not true for Mary, but the speaker is not necessarily committing himself/herself to the truth of that information.

     When the speaker negates (26), as in (23), the speaker is saying that P is not true for Mary. Still, by using the verb saber, the speaker is intending to indicate that P is true for him/her. Consequently, the speaker is indicating that P is contained in R(s), if not in R(m) and, consequently, we predict the use of the indicative in (23). The same explanation can be given for the use of the indicative in (24). Although the speaker is denying that something is true for Mary, by using the predicate darse cuenta de the speaker intends to indicate that the proposition expressed by the complement is true for him/her.

     We see that the generalization proposed also accounts in an elegant way for the asymmetry in the distribution of mood in the complements of saber, creer, darse cuenta de. In the next section, I present an overview of some previous analyses of the distribution of mood in Spanish, and point out some empirical difficulties that some of these analyses face.

     5. Traditionally there has been a tendency to associate the indicative mood with what the speaker regards as established facts, whereas he subjunctive has been associated with what the speaker does not regard as certain, established facts (see, among others, RAE 1973, Bergen 1978, Palmer 1986). This informal generalization explains the use of the subjunctive in (30) and the indicative in (31), for example:

       (30) Es cierto/ seguro que Pedro está enfermo
(31) Es probable/ no es seguro que Pedro esté enfermo

     In (30), the speaker regards the information expressed in the complement clause as true. Consequently, the indicative mood can be used. On the other hand, in (31) the speaker does not regard the information expressed by the complement clause as an established fact. In this case, the complement clause appears in the subjunctive mood.

     This generalization, however, cannot account for the use of the subjunctive in a sentence such as (32):

      (32) Me alegro de que Pedro esté enfermo

     The speaker that utters (32) regards it as an established fact that Peter is sick. The speaker is expressing his/her emotional reaction towards a fact that is assumed (both by the speaker and the hearer) to be true. However, the complement clause appears in the subjunctive mood. (31)

     Hooper (1975) and Terrell (1976) offer an elaborate classification of predicates. Hooper (1975) points to a continuum in the notion of assertion, from assertive predicates to weak assertive to semifactive. Predicates such as darse cuenta de are classified [900] as semifactive. They are shown to behave like assertive predicates in several respects (in spite of the fact that the complement is logically presupposed). This explains the use of the indicative mood in the complement clause of these predicates. Predicates such as creo are classified as weak assertive. This explains, on the one hand, the use of the indicative in the complement clause and, on the other, the lack of complete certainty as to the truth of the proposition expressed by the complement. The analysis presented here differs in that it does not need to appeal to different degrees of assertion to accommodate the use of the indicative mood in complement clauses of darse cuenta de o creo. The complements of darse cuenta de and creer are asserted in the same sense that the complement of es cierto que is asserted and, thus, the complement appears in the indicative mood in all cases. Additional differences between these predicates are due to factors independent of the notion of assertion, such as logical presupposition in the case darse cuenta de and the particular spatial configuration that the use of creo que creates. The analysis presented here could be seen as an explicit characterization of a property that all predicates that are thought to be assertive to some degree have in common: they are all used by the speaker when the speaker's intention is to indicate that a proposition is true for some individual.

     Lunn (1989) proposes that relevant information appears in the indicative mood, whereas non-relevant information appears in the subjunctive mood. She provides a prototype of assertability, some types of information being more assertable than others. New and true information is most assertable, whereas old or untrue information is less assertable. Although this analysis captures a significant insight, it is not clear how it would distinguish between complements of emotion matrixes and mental act matrixes, such as (16) and (17) above. In both cases the information expressed by the complement is both true and old for speaker and hearer. However, in one case the indicative is used in (16) but not in (17).

     It is not obvious how an appeal to relevance and the assertability of the information expressed by the complement can explain this difference in a non-circular way. The application of the notion of relevance to the discussion of mood, as carried out by Lunn, is, however, intuitively appealing. Similarly, the discussion in Lavandera (1983) points to a correlation between mood and relevance. Notice that the notion of relevance and the notion of assertion (as conceived in the present article) can be related in an informal, although intuitively correct, way. By asserting some piece of information, the speaker foregrounds that information, that is, the speaker is indicating that his/her intention is directed towards that piece of information. If we assume that relevant information tends to be foregrounded, then we can conclude that relevant information will tend to be asserted; that is, it will be intentionally presented as true by the speaker. Thus, the present analysis can be seen as complementing analyses such as Lavandera's and Lunn's. The relation between relevance and assertion enables us to extend the analysis to account for the choice of mood in contexts such as concessive clauses or the complement of noun phrases such as el hecho de que, where the use of mood has been shown to be dependent on extrasentential factors such as relevance (see Lunn and Lavandera). (32)

     6. By reexamining the notion of assertion and defining it separately of the notion of logical presupposition, and with relation to the notions of speaker's intention and speaker's representation of reality, we were able to maintain Terrell and Hooper's generalization that the indicative is the mood of assertion and the subjunctive is the mood of non-assertion. In order to predict the mood of a complement clause in Spanish, we have to take into consideration what the speaker's intentions are, as reflected by the meaning of the matrix clause. If the speaker intends to present a proposition P as part of some individual's view of reality, P will be asserted and the indicative mood will be used. When it is not the intention of the [901] speaker to present P as part of some individual's view of reality, P is not asserted and the subjunctive mood will be used. The analysis successfully accounts for the cases that were counterexamples to Terrell and Hooper's initial generalization (verbs that describe mental acts and commissives). Similarly, the notion of assertion can be related to the notion of relevance and, thus, the present analysis can in principle be extended to account for the use of mood in contexts other than complement clauses, where the notion of relevance has been argued to play an important role. (33)



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