On the metapragmatics of British, German and Russian political questions and answers

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The study focuses on negative evaluative metapragmatic moves incorporated in the sequential structure of questions and answers in English, German and Russian parliamentary debates and political interviews, in which the questioner and the respondent reproach each other (and other political agents) for various communication errors and glitches. The aim is to analyse the linkages between meta-stimuli and meta-responses embedded in political dialogue. Three main patterns of such linkages are described: (1) balanced, in which the question and answer contain an approximately equal amount of criticism; (2) the escalating pattern, in which meta-moves incorporated in questions elicit escalating talk-about-talk in answers and (3) the attenuating pattern: a chain of meta-criticisms in the question is countered with one reproachful comment incorporated in the answer.


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