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Journal Article

Questions and responses in Dutch conversations


Englert,  Christina
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Interactional Foundations of Language, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Englert, C. (2010). Questions and responses in Dutch conversations. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 2666-2684. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.04.005.

Cite as:
Based on an analysis of 350 questions and their responses in a corpus of ordinary interactions, this paper gives a descriptive overview of the ways Dutch interactants formulate their utterances to make them recognizable as doing questioning and the options they rely on to respond to these questions. I describe the formal options for formulating questions and responses in Dutch and the range of social actions (e.g. requests for information, requests for confirmation) that are implemented through questions in the corpus. Finally, I focus on answer design and discuss some of the coherence relations between questions, answers, and social actions. Questions that are asked to elicit information are associated with the more prototypical, lexico-morpho-syntactically defined question type such as polar interrogatives and, mainly, content questions. Most polar questions with declarative syntax are not primarily concerned with obtaining information but with doing other kinds of social actions