Chapter 1Exploiting wh-questions for expressive purposes
This chapter offers a conceptual-pragmatic analysis of the construction Wh-x do you think [
…], which exhibits the morphosyntactic form of wh-interrogative sentences and may indeed be used with a question meaning, but in many contexts functions as a highly expressive speech act (of e.g. strong disapproval). We argue that the expressive sense (target) of the construction is derivable from the (literal) question meaning (source) via a series of metonymically motivated steps. In terms of Fauconnier’s and Turner’s conceptual integration theory, the expressive target meaning can be regarded as the result of conceptual compression. Notwithstanding, “decompression” is always possible, i.e., despite the high degree of conventionalization of the expressive sense, the literal question reading remains cognitively accessible.
- 2.The Wh-x do you think [
- 3.Neutral question sense vs. expressive sense
- 3.1Who do you think [
- 3.1.1Neutral question sense (‘who’ as subject)
3.1.2Expressive sense (‘who’ as subject)
- 3.1.3Neutral question sense (‘who’ as object)
- 3.1.4Expressive sense (‘who’ as object)
- 3.2Where do you think [
- 3.2.1Neutral question sense
- 3.2.2Expressive sense
- 3.3When do you think [
- 3.3.1Neutral question sense
- 3.3.2Expressive sense
- 3.4How do you think [
- 3.4.1Neutral question sense
- 3.4.2Expressive sense
- 3.5Why do you think [
- 3.5.1Neutral question sense
- 3.5.2Expressive sense
- 3.6What do you think [
- 3.6.1Neutral question sense
- 3.6.2Expressive sense
- 4.Expressivity in the Wh-x do you think [
- 5.The What do you think you are doing? construction
- 6.Conclusions and outlook
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Cited by 2 other publications
Panther, Klaus-Uwe & Linda L. Thornburg
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