Signaling of Causal Relations in Spanish: Variety, Functionality, and Specificity
Dialogue and Discourse
While some recent studies on Spanish have shown that some causal discourse markers specialize in expressing certain types of causal relations, others have revealed that causal relations may be signaled by a variety of linguistic devices. Given that we were interested not only in specificity and variety, but also in the (poly) functionality of signals, our objective in the present study was threefold. First, to identify the variety of markers used to signal causal relations in Spanish. Second,
... Spanish. Second, to describe the (poly) functionality of those causal markers. Third, to determine whether there exists a relationship of specificity between markers and particular types of causal relations. We analyzed a corpus of 2,514 causal coherence relations previously annotated. 40 different linguistic devices used to signal causal relations were identified. These devices were grouped into two main classes: Discourse Markers and Cue Phrases. Regarding the (poly) functionality of the markers, we found that 8 of the most frequent markers were used to signal different relations. Regarding specificity, it was observed that various conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs specialize in signaling specific relations.