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Usos cotidianos del condicional en el lenguaje escrito The use of conditionals in everyday written langauge

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Abstract

Este artículo presenta un estudio normativo sobre el uso del condicional en el lenguaje escrito. Se partió de una muestra de textos en español con 450.000 palabras, en los que se identificaron 408 condicionales. Analizamos la cualidad de estos condicionales como indicativos simples, bicondicionales, contrafácticos, deónticos (de obligaciones, permisos, etc.) o causales, comprobando la frecuencia de uso de cada uno de estos tipos de condicional. Además, en cada uno de ellos, se cuantificó su frecuencia de aparición en orden directo (antecedente-consecuente) e inverso (consecuente-antecedente), así como la aparición de negaciones en cada uno de sus componentes. Los resultados se compararon con las predicciones de las principales teorías actuales del razonamiento. This paper presents a normative study on the use of conditionals in written language. A sample of texts (total length 450.000 words) originally written in Spanish was used. A total of 408 conditionals were found. We analyzed the quality of the conditionals as simple indicative, biconditionals, counterfactual, deontic (obligations, permissions, etc.) or causal, and tested the frequency of use for each of these types of conditionals. For each of them, we also tested the order as direct (antecedent-consequent) or reverse (consequent-antecedent), and the use of negations in each of the components. The results were compared to the predictions of the main current theories of reasoning.

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... In everyday life people commonly make conditional statements regarding different experienced events or future courses of action, and even about events that might not have occurred. These conditional statements may take many forms and are classified according to the way the propositions can be verified or falsified (e.g., natural conditionals, future conditionals, deontic conditionals, factual or canonical conditionals and counterfactual conditionals, among others) (Santamaría & Espino, 1998;Traugott, ter Meulen, Reilly & Ferguson, 1986). ...
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A factual statement describes what has happened, while a counterfactual statement makes contrary-to-fact affirmations, such as alternatives to events that occurred (e.g., If I had been more disciplined, I would have managed to turn the article in on time”). The purpose of the current research was to identify the effects of counterfactual formulation on matching behavior when counterfactual statements are produced in repeated occasions. Thirty-five university students participated, distributed at random into five groups that were exposed to the formulation of factual statements, counterfactual statements, free text, auditory interference or nothing. The results showed that the production of counterfactual statements improved performance in the task, while interference made it more difficult; results from the other conditions were not significant in this respect. This finding suggests that the production of counterfactual statements may enhance control by the elements of the task and that the abstraction of a rule may not be the critical variable responsible for the effects of the counterfactual production.
... In everyday life people commonly make conditional statements regarding different experienced events or future courses of action, and even about events that might not have occurred. These conditional statements may take many forms and are classified according to the way the propositions can be verified or falsified (e.g., natural conditionals, future conditionals, deontic conditionals, factual or canonical conditionals and counterfactual conditionals, among others) (Santamaría & Espino, 1998;Traugott, ter Meulen, Reilly & Ferguson, 1986). ...
Article
Full-text available
A factual statement describes what has happened, while a counterfactual statement makes contrary-to-fact affirmations, such as alternatives to events that occurred (e.g., "If I had been more disciplined, I would have managed to turn the article in on time"). The purpose of the current research was to identify the effects of counterfactual formulation on matching behavior when counterfactual statements are produced in repeated occasions. Thirty-five university students participated, distributed at random into five groups that were exposed to the formulation of factual statements, counterfactual statements, free text, auditory interference or nothing. The results showed that the production of counterfactual statements improved performance in the task, while interference made it more difficult; results from the other conditions were not significant in this respect. This finding suggests that the production of counterfactual statements may enhance control by the elements of the task and that the abstraction of a rule may not be the critical variable responsible for the effects of the counterfactual production.
... In everyday life people commonly make conditional statements regarding different experienced events or future courses of action, and even about events that might not have occurred. These conditional statements may take many forms and are classified according to the way the propositions can be verified or falsified (e.g., natural conditionals, future conditionals, deontic conditionals, factual or canonical conditionals and counterfactual conditionals, among others) (Santamaría & Espino, 1998;Traugott, ter Meulen, Reilly & Ferguson, 1986). ...
Article
Full-text available
A factual statement describes what has happened, while a counterfactual statement makes contraryto- fact affirmations, such as alternatives to events that occurred (e.g., If I had been more disciplined, I would have managed to turn the article in on time”). The purpose of the current research was to identify the effects of counterfactual formulation on matching behavior when counterfactual statements are produced in repeated occasions. Thirty-five university students participated, distributed at random into five groups that were exposed to the formulation of factual statements, counterfactual statements, free text, auditory interference or nothing. The results showed that the production of counterfactual statements improved performance in the task, while interference made it more difficult; results from the other conditions were not significant in this respect. This finding suggests that the production of counterfactual statements may enhance control by the elements of the task and that the abstraction of a rule may not be the critical variable responsible for the effects of the counterfactual production.
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