La gramática oculta de la polaridad positiva en español antiguo Articles uri icon



publication date

  • January 2014

start page

  • 861

end page

  • 915


  • 3


  • 30

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0213-2370


  • This paper proposes a new framework for the grammaticalization of the Old Spanish manner adverbs/'so/yes' as a positive polarity item. My proposal is that Old Spanish and Modern Spanish display different syntactic structures to convey positive polarity; in Old Spanish it involves not only the adverb si, but it is related to verb movement, focus, clitic placement, VP-ellipsis and the properties of the Pol(arity) Head. I claim that the restructuring of the Left Periphery in Renaissance Spanish set the scenario for the reanalysis of si as a polarity item and led to the emergence of previously unknown syntactic structures related to the expression of positive polarity, such as que or bare si. Since the strong or weak features of the Pol Head is what regulates whether si was a polarity item or not, strong features of Pol appear to be the underlying factor which determines the syntactic properties of positive polarity in Old Spanish.


  • old spanish; syntax; polarity; adverbs; left periphery; emphatic polarity