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Veneeta Dayal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281268

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281268.001.0001

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Non-canonical questions

Non-canonical questions

Chapter:
(p.268) 9 Non-canonical questions
Source:
Questions
Author(s):

Veneeta Dayal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281268.003.0009

This final chapter deals with non-canonical questions, questions that elicit information but also have at least one of the following properties: (i) they convey a bias on the part of the speaker about possible answers; (ii) their syntactic form does not conform to that of normal interrogatives; (iii) their purpose is something other than or in addition to eliciting information. Negative polar questions, declarative questions, echo questions, rhetorical questions, ability/inclination questions, and tag questions are among the constructions studied. The analyses of such questions build on analyses of canonical questions, in combination with appropriate tools for studying conversational dynamics. Although non-canonical questions are a diverse set, they behave alike in two ways. They tend to resist embedding and may be classified as root phenomena. They represent a conscious choice on the part of the speaker over a simpler alternative form available in the language.

Keywords:   bias, negative polar questions, declarative questions, echo questions, rhetorical questions, ability/inclination questions, tag questions

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