Variably future-marked conditionals in Greek: Integrating discourse and grammar

Kiki Nikiforidou, Rena Torres Cacoullos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that future-marked conditionals have discourse-pragmatic functions other than future temporal reference (Comrie 1982, Fillmore 1990, Dancygier & Sweetser 2005). Through a corpus-based multivariate analysis we show that future-marked conditionals in Greek are associated with speech-act conditional uses and correlate systematically with formal contextual features of polarity and subject-person and form. We argue that some of these associations are entrenched enough to warrant constructional status and that the data support the emergence of specific conditional constructions, on a continuum between fixed formulas and schematic or more productive constructions, defined by particular tense-aspect combinations, preferred lexical fillers, and specialized functions, which are really of a discoursal nature. We suggest that construction grammar provides an appropriate framework for integrating discourse-pragmatic conventions, not merely semantics, into grammatical theory; we further propose some attributes and values that may be used for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-123
Number of pages34
JournalConstructions and Frames
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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