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El subjuntivo y nuestra concepción de la realidad –y la capacidad de influir en ella

A proposal for the explanation of the Spanish subjuntive mood applied to a political debate


  • Tine Elholm

Summary, in English

The objective of this paper is to apply the proposal presented by Vesterinen & Bylund (2013) for the explanation of the Spanish subjunctive mood in a contemporary political debate. It is assumed that the proposal will be able to explain the variations of mood observed in the debate. The proposal explains the occurrence of the subjunctive mood in subordinate clauses with the notion that the propositional content of the subordinate is located outside the conceptualizer’s dominion in one of two ways: either outside the conceptualizer’s epistemic dominion or outside the dominion of effective control. That is, the subjunctive mood designates that the conceptualizer either considers the event described by the verb to be not true, or that the execution of the action described by the verb depends on other people. The analysis studies examples of mood variation taken from a televised political debate between the leaders the the two Spanish political parties Ciudadanos and Podemos. The dominion concepts were also applied to the general discursive traits of the debate. The studied proposal offers a cognitive explanation which aims at covering a wider array of contexts than other explanations. The analysis concludes that the proposal was able to explain the studied cases.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • cognitive linguistics
  • verbal mood
  • effective control
  • epistemic control
  • subjuntivo
  • political discourse
  • modo verbal
  • lingüística cognitiva
  • control efectivo
  • control epistémico
  • unified account
  • discurso político


  • Carlos Henderson (Research fellow)