Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper investigates the correlation between the form and function of yes/no interrogatives in spoken French. Thestandard language possesses three ways of constructing such interrogatives: verb-clitic inversion; prefixation of a declarativesentence 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, thatthe three constructions differ not only on the pragmatic level, but also on the semantic level, and that the choice between themcan be explained, and largely predicted, in terms of three interactional parameters, namely the accessibility of the informationcontained in the interrogative; participation structure; and considerations of ‘face’.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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