This article explores the syntactic and prosodic characteristics of polar questions headed by unstressed particles such as que ‘that’ or o ‘or’ in different Catalan dialects (vg. Que plou? ‘Is it raining?’). The presence or absence of the conjunction, together with suprasegmental information, are used variously to encode a variety of systematic pragmatic meanings. In the case of neutral polar questions, while dialects such as Central Catalan, Majorcan and Eivissan express a modality difference between two types of polar questions through differences in the suprasegmental information and optionally through the presence of que, other dialects such as Minorcan, Northern Central Catalan and Valencian cue the modality distinction mainly through the intonation pattern. From a syntactic point of view, we claim that Catalan polar questions are headed by a force operator that occupies a peripheral position in the complementizer zone and that contains prosodic features. In this way we explain why in some dialects it is exclusively the suprasegmental information that distinguishes the two types of interrogatives and expresses the different modality meanings.
How to Cite
Prieto, P. & Rigau, G., (2007) “The Syntax-Prosody Interface: Catalan interrogative sentences headed by que”, Journal of Portuguese Linguistics 6(2), p.29-59. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.139