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Illocutionary force and conduciveness in imperative constant polarity tag questions: a typology

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This article deals with imperative constant polarity tag questions (henceforth imperative CPTQs) such as Leave me alone, will you and Let’s have another, shall we. We propose a typology of imperative CPTQs on the basis of a systematic study of data, correlating their distinct formalproperties with di¤erent contextualized uses. Further developing Mc-Gregor’s (1997) general approach to tag questions, we argue that the main subtypes of imperative CPTQs can be classified in terms of two interpersonalfunctions: illocutionary force and conduciveness. These two interpersonal dimensions form continua ranging from speaker-oriented to hearer-oriented meanings. The classification in terms of illocutionary force subsumes speaker-oriented command and request, speaker- and heareroriented proposal for joint action, and hearer-oriented advice and invitation/offer. The corresponding conduciveness cline involves mainly ‘softening’ at the speaker-oriented end, where the speaker’s desire predominates, and ‘insisting’ at the hearer-oriented end, which focuses on the benefits to the hearer.
Journal: Text and Talk
ISSN: 1860-7330
Issue: 6
Volume: 28
Pages: 699 - 722
BOF-keylabel:yes
IOF-keylabel:yes
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education
Accessibility:Open