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Tag Questions in British and American English.

Hoffmann, S. and Tottie, G. (2006) Tag Questions in British and American English. Journal of English Linguistics, 34 (4). pp. 283-311.

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Abstract

This large-scale corpus study charts differences between British English and American English as regards the use of "canonical" tag questions such as It's raining, isn't it?, It's not raining, is it?, or It's raining, is it? Several thousand instances of question tags were extracted from the British National Corpus and the Longman Spoken American Corpus, yielding nine times as many tag questions in colloquial British English as in colloquial American English (but also important register differences in British English). Polarity types and operators in tags also differ in the two varieties. Preliminary results concerning pragmatic functions point to a higher use of "facilitating" tags involving interlocutors in conversation in American English. Speaker age is important in both varieties, with older speakers using more canonical tag questions than younger speakers.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of English Linguistics
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: tag questions • differences between British and American English • discourse • spoken interaction • negation • polarity • age grading • language change • corpus linguistics • retrieval methods
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Linguistics & English Language
ID Code: 3943
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2008 13:11
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 17:59
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3943

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