Syntax in interaction
Form and function of yes/no interrogatives in spoken standard French
This paper investigates the correlation between the form and function of yes/no interrogatives in spoken French. The standard language possesses three ways of constructing such interrogatives: verb-clitic inversion; prefixation of a declarative sentence with the interrogative particle est-ce que; and a rising intonation pattern superposed on a declarative structure. The choice between the three has traditionally been described in terms of register differences. This paper argues, however, that the three constructions differ not only on the pragmatic level, but also on the semantic level, and that the choice between them can be explained, and largely predicted, in terms of three interactional parameters, namely the accessibility of the information contained in the interrogative; participation structure; and considerations of ‘face’.
Published online: 08 April 2002
Cited by 10 other publications
Antes, Theresa A.
Forsgren, Mats & Françoise Sullet-Nylander
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von Flotow, Luise
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