Kochetova L.A., Ilyinova E.Yu., Klepikova T.A. Tag Questions in English Spoken Discourse: Corpus-Based Linguistic and Pragmatic Analysis

https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2021.5.6

Larisa A. Kochetova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of English Philology, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5278-7373

Elena Yu. Ilyinova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Department of English Philology, Volgograd State University

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3310-4020

Tatiana A. Klepikova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Professor, Department of English Language Theory and Translation Studies, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics

Sadovaya St, 21, 191023 Saint Petersburg, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9745-5201


Abstract. Based on an integrative methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative methods of linguistic research, the authors consider grammatical forms, syntactic types and pragmatic functions of the tag question in British spoken discourse. The research material included samples of dialogues with tag questions taken from British contemporary fiction and the Spoken BNC2014. Drawing on the theory of linguistic metarepresentation and using corpus analysis tools the authors presented the model under study in structural-syntactic and functional-pragmatic perspectives and obtained reliable data on discourse realization of tag question models, specified their standard and common usage polarity status, distinguished bi- and monopolarity variations. An analysis of the tag question types that are distinguished as the combinations of the predicative and auxiliary parts shows that the most frequent type of tag question is the one formed with an affirmative predicative part and a negative tag. The corpus-based approach allowed obtaining quantitative data on frequencies of tag questions in British spoken discourse, retrieving the repertoire of tag questions with their grammatical representation. It is shown that in the corpus under study the most frequent form of the tag question is the form isn't it?. The least frequent forms of tag questions are the ones formed with the have verb, as well as the modal verbs will, may, can, which supports the thesis that tag questions are losing ground in British spoken discourse. Discourse-pragmatic analysis of utterance contexts with tag questions highlighted its discourse value in the British tradition of conversation, as they perform the following communicative functions: informational; etiquette; interpersonal-relation-corrective (focus-positive or focus-negative).

Key words: corpus, corpus linguistics, spoken discourse, tag question, pragmatics, intention, communicative
function.

Citation. Kochetova L.A., Ilyinova E.Yu., Klepikova T.A. Tag Questions in English Spoken Discourse: Corpus-Based Linguistic and Pragmatic Analysis. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2021, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 67-86. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2021.5.6

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Tag Questions in English Spoken Discourse: Corpus-Based Linguistic and Pragmatic Analysis by Kochetova L.A., Ilyinova E.Yu., Klepikova T.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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