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The question–response system of Danish


Heinemann,  Trine
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
SPIRE, Institute of Business Communication and Information Science, University of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg, Denmark;
Interactional Foundations of Language, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Heinemann, T. (2010). The question–response system of Danish. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 2703-2725. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.04.007.

This paper provides an overview of the question–response system of Danish, based on a collection of 350 questions (and responses) collected from video recordings of naturally occurring face-to-face interactions between native speakers of Danish. The paper identifies the lexico-grammatical options for formulating questions, the range of social actions that can be implemented through questions and the relationship between questions and responses. It further describes features where Danish questions differ from a range of other languages in terms of, for instance, distribution and the relationship between question format and social action. For instance, Danish has a high frequency of interrogatively formatted questions and questions that are negatively formulated, when compared to languages that have the same grammatical options. In terms of action, Danish shows a higher number of questions that are used for making suggestions, offers and requests and does not use repetition as a way of answering a question as often as other languages.