Procedural Meaning Explicatures in the Development of New Subordination Strategies in Romance

The sociocultural changes that led to the genesis of Romance languages widened the gap between oral and written patterns, which display different discoursive and linguistic devices. In early documents, discoursive implicatures connecting propositions were not generally codified, so that the reader should furnish the correct interpretation according to his own perception of real facts; which can still be attested in current oral utterances. Once Romance languages had undergone several levelling processes which concluded in the first standardizations, implicatures became explicatures and were syntactically codified by means of univocal new complex conjunctions. As a consequence of the emergence of these new subordination strategies, a freer distribution of the information conveyed by the utterances is allowed. The success of complex structural patterns ran alongside of the genesis of new narrative genres and the generalization of a learned rhetoric. Both facts are a spontaneous effect of new approaches to the act of reading. Ancient texts were written to be read to a wide audience, whereas those printed by the end of the XV th century were conceived to be read quietly, in a low voice, by a private reader. The goal of this paper is twofold, since we will show that: a) The development of new complex conjunctions through the history of Romance languages accommodates to four structural patterns that range from parataxis to hypotaxis. b) This development is a reflex of the well known grammaticalization path from discourse to syntax that implies the codification of discoursive strategies (Givón 2 1979, Sperber and Wilson 1986, Carston 1988, Grice 1989, Bach 1994, Blackemore 2002, among others] ​
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