Mood and modal concord in Spanish directive clauses

An update to Faulkner (2022b)


  • Tris Faulkner Kalamazoo College



mood, modal concord, directives, subjunctive, indicative, Spanish


According to Faulkner (2022b), in the case of Spanish, “indicative directive complements are strongly preferable to subjunctive clauses when a weak necessity and teleological matrix directive embeds a modal verb of equivalent strength and type” (p. 8). She explains that the exceptionality of this phenomenon relates to both predicates being interpreted in concord with one another. Having compared and analyzed several authentic examples of mood use in this context (see Faulkner 2021b, 2022a, 2022b), she, consequently, suggests that, in spite of being labeled core selectors of the subjunctive (e.g., Villalta 2008), if a modal concord construction is to come into play, the mood of the particular directive complement is affected. However, unbeknownst to Faulkner (2022b) at the time of publishing, this symbiotic relationship between modal concord and mood is not exclusive to matrix and subordinate directives that are weak necessity (of strength) and teleological (of type). Concord readings may, in fact, be evoked in contexts in which both the matrix and embedded predicates are, for example, either deontic and strong necessity or bouletic and strong necessity. In other words, if the two expressions parallel each other in strength and priority, an indicative modal complement, interpreted in concord (or unison) with the main directive, is likely to result; and, most importantly, whether or not the two modal elements are teleological and weak necessity.


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How to Cite

Faulkner, T. (2024). Mood and modal concord in Spanish directive clauses: An update to Faulkner (2022b). Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 13(1), 149–174.