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Homeric VoicesDiscourse, Memory, Gender$
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Elizabeth Minchin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280124.001.0001

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Competitive and Co-operative Strategies I: Information-Questions

Competitive and Co-operative Strategies I: Information-Questions

(p.175) 7 Competitive and Co-operative Strategies I: Information-Questions
Homeric Voices

Elizabeth Minchin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

According to Jennifer Coates there are three characteristic modes in discourse of a dominant kind: information-questions, directives, and interruption. Information-questions are ostensibly designed to seek information, but may also be used (by virtue of their challenging nature) to establish power and status. In a co-operative style of discourse, on the other hand, information-questions are more likely to serve as an invitation to others to participate. Coates has attributed these different styles to men and women respectively. In information-questions in Homer's Iliad there is support for this claim: men's use of questions in the public sphere reflects a competitive, coercive, or status-aware mode of discourse — questions are an exercise of power. In the small sample of women's talk, women ask information-questions for affective rather than referential purposes.

Keywords:   discourse, gender, Jennifer Coates, information-question, competitive style, co-operative style, Achilleus, Priam, gods

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