[Constructions and Frames 2:2] 2010
► pp. 208–241
This article deals with the expression oi na+V realizing mild prohibitions in Cypriot Greek. Drawing on spoken corpus and experimental results, I propose that oi na+V simultaneously expresses two speech acts: (1) a prohibition against some act; (2) the assumption that this act is likely. In this way, the speaker appears to be adopting the hearer’s perspective, advising him accordingly. The resulting account of oi na+V as a neg-raising construction motivated by positive face in contemporary Cypriot society is supported by prosodic and psycholinguistic evidence, and has implications for the contribution of prosody to constructional meaning, the relationship between arbitrariness and generativity in language, and the importance of face in the emergence of constructions.
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