A. Sanchez and P. Cantos Gómez

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

A Survey on Corpus-based Research. Panorama de Investigaciones basadas en corpus



First Page


Last Page


Conference Name

International Conference on Corpus Linguistics

Conference City

Murcia, Spain

Conference Dates

7–9 May 2009


The purpose of this study is to determine the form(s) and function(s) of no sé through the analysis of 820 tokens that we extract from three corpora of spoken Spanish in New Mexico, Puerto Rico and Madrid, Spain. The results of our quantitative analysis suggest that, like I don´t know (Bybee & Scheibman 1999), no sé is stored in the lexicon as a chunk in these three dialects. This analysis is reinforced by rates of phonological reduction of word-initial /s/ in New Mexico. Our results also reveal that no sé has similar discourse functions in the three varieties. However, other factors such as frequency of occurrence and use of first-person yo show that there are important dialectal differences. As a discourse marker, no sé has a limited use in New Mexico, whereas Madrid is the most advanced variety. The Puerto Rican variety holds an intermediate position.