Indicative directive complements: mood and modal concord in Spanish


  • Tris Faulkner Kalamazoo College



mood, modal concord, Spanish, directives


Directive predicates are words with meanings that are similar to ‘order’, ‘require’, ‘recommend’, and ‘advise’. Being volitional in nature, directives are said to form part of the core group of subjunctive-taking predicates. This means that, like desiderative (e.g., querer que ‘to want that’) and purpose clauses (e.g., para que ‘so that’), they are expected to, and generally do, take the subjunctive. However, findings from the present investigation suggest that, in spite of this description, there are certain contexts in which indicative directive complements are strongly preferred. Analyses showed that indicative directive clauses are strongly preferable to subjunctive complements when the embedded verb is of the same modality type (e.g., teleological) and strength (e.g., weak necessity) as the matrix directive; i.e., when there is modal concord. In the case of subjunctive complements, they are preferable to indicative, only when there is no concord between the embedded and main directive predicates. These findings are significant, not only because directives are normatively described as requiring the subjunctive, but also because no previous studies have examined a link between mood and modal concord.


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How to Cite

Faulkner, T. (2022). Indicative directive complements: mood and modal concord in Spanish. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 11(3), 291–304.