Edited by Pierre-Yves Modicom and Olivier Duplâtre
[Studies in Language Companion Series 213] 2020
► pp. 47–70
This article is concerned with what are known as inferential constructions, i.e. clauses where the expressions it’s (just) that or it’s not that have gained the function of discourse markers. Similar expressions also exist in Romance. The corresponding construction in Spanish is introduced by es que and the content of the following clause is always focal, in the sense that it contains information that relates to a variable inferable from the context (exhaustive information focus). The particular information-structural properties presented by both the es que-construction and its negative and interrogative counterparts can only be explained by an analysis of their underlying development. In this respect, these constructions constitute a good illustration of the interplay of discourse and grammaticalization, especially the interface between syntax and pragmatics, where information-structural properties are located.