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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


ARUS, Jorge. A systemic-functional perspective of the uses of 'se' in Spanish . Rev. signos [online]. 2006, vol.39, n.61, pp.131-159. ISSN 0718-0934.

This paper uses Systemic-Functional theory to explain the semantic motivations underlying the different uses of the clitic 'se' in Spanish, as shown in the folloging examples: (1) Se venden libros (books for sale); (2) Se vende libros (books for sale); (3) Pedro se cortó (Peter cut himself); (4) Pedro y María se miraron (Peter and Mary looked at each other); (5) Se ha roto el vaso (the glass has broken); (6) Pedro se ha ido (Peter has left). The assignment of experiential functions to 'se' will allow us to appreciate the differences and points in common in the various uses of this pronoun, thus providing a rationalization with important practical consequences. Among these, the possible contribution to second language teaching, both facilitating the understanding of complex issues, like the uses of 'se' in Spanish, and allowing the design of proficiency-oriented syllabuses that favour the teaching of languages in a meaningful way through the understanding of their uses. This way, Systemic-Functional theory will once more prove to be a suitable framework, not only for linguistic description at a general level, but also for addressing specific issues in particular languages.

Palabras clave : Systemic-Functional; se; transitivity; experential.

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