Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Ehrhart, Sabine

1 Issue per year


Covered by:
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index
ERIH PLUS

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-9969
See all formats and pricing
More options …

‘Where’ Questions and Their Responses in Duna (Papua New Guinea)

Lila San Roque
Published Online: 2016-04-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0005

Abstract

Despite their central role in question formation, content interrogatives in spontaneous conversation remain relatively under-explored cross-linguistically. This paper outlines the structure of ‘where’ expressions in Duna, a language spoken in Papua New Guinea, and examines where-questions in a small Duna data set in terms of their frequency, function, and the responses they elicit. Questions that ask ‘where?’ have been identified as a useful tool in studying the language of space and place, and, in the Duna case and elsewhere, show high frequency and functional flexibility. Although where-questions formulate place as an information gap, they are not always answered through direct reference to canonical places. While some question types may be especially “socially costly” (Levinson 2012), asking ‘where’ perhaps provides a relatively innocuous way of bringing a particular event or situation into focus.

Keywords: question-answer pairs; where interrogatives; Papuan languages

References

  • Bednarek, Monika. 2014. ‘Who are you and why are you following us?’ Wh-questions and communicative context in television dialogue. In John Flowerdew (ed.), Discourse in context: Contemporary applied linguistics, volume 3, 49-70. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Google Scholar

  • Bloom, Lois, Sudan Merkin and Janet Wootten. 1982. “Wh”-questions: Linguistic factors that contribute to the sequence of acquisition. Child Development 53(4): 1084-1092. Google Scholar

  • Blu, Karen I. 1996. ‘Where do you stay at?’ Home, place and community among the Lumbee. In Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso (eds), Senses of place, 197-227. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press. Google Scholar

  • Brown, Penelope. 2007. Principles of person reference in Tzeltal conversation. In N. J. Enfield and Tanya Stivers (eds), Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives,172-202. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Brown, Penelope. 2010. Questions and their responses in Tzeltal. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2627-2648. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bruce, Les. 1984. The Alamblak language of Papua New Guinea (East Sepik). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Google Scholar

  • Casillas, Marisa. 2014. Taking the floor on time: Delay and deferral in children’s turn taking. In I. Arnon, M. Casillas, C. Kurumada and B. Estigarribia (eds), Language in Interaction: Studies in honor of Eve V. Clark, 101-114. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar

  • Casillas, Marisa, Susan C. Bobb and Eve V. Clark. In press. Turn taking, timing and planning in early language acquisition. Journal of Child Language. Google Scholar

  • Clark, Eve V. 2003. First language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Clark, Eve V. and Kate L. Lindsey. 2015. Turn-taking: A case study of early gesture and word use in answering WHERE and WHICH questions. Frontiers in Psychology 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00890 CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cysouw, Michael. 2004. Interrogative words: An exercise in lexical typology. Paper presented at Bantu Grammar: Description and Theory Workshop 3, 13 February. ZAS Berlin, Germany. Google Scholar

  • Cysouw, Michael. 2007. Content interrogatives in Ashéninca Campa: Corpus study and typological comparison. International Journal of American Linguistics 73(2): 133-163. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Enfield, N. J. 2010. Questions and responses in Lao. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2649–2665. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Englert, Christina. 2010. Questions and responses in Dutch conversations. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2666–2684. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ervin-Tripp, Susan M. 1970. Discourse agreement: How children answer questions. In R. Hayes (ed.), Cognition and language learning, 79-107. New York: Wiley and Sons. Google Scholar

  • Ervin-Tripp, Susan M. 1979. Children’s verbal turn-taking. In Elinor Ochs and Bambi Schieffelin (eds), Developmental pragmatics, 391-414. New York: Academic Press. Google Scholar

  • Fedden, Sebastian. 2011. A grammar of Mian. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. Google Scholar

  • Foley, William A. 1986. Papuan languages of New Guinea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Giles, Glenda. No date. A guide to the pronunciation of Duna [and] Duna language lessons. Manuscript. Google Scholar

  • Guirardello-Damian, Raquel. 2002. The syntax and semantics of posture forms in Trumai. In John Newman (ed.), The linguistics of sitting, standing and lying, 141-177. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Google Scholar

  • Haley, Nicole. 2002. Ipakana yakaiya - Mapping landscapes, mapping lives: Contemporary land politics among the Duna. PhD dissertation, Australian National University. Google Scholar

  • Hayashi, Makoto. 2010. An overview of the question-response system in Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2685-2702. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Healey, Patrick G. T., Matthew Purver and Christine Howes. 2014. Divergence in Dialogue. PLoS ONE 9(6): e98598. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098598 Google Scholar

  • Heine, Bernd, Ulrike Claudi and Friederike Hünnermeyer. 1991. Grammaticalization: A conceptual framework. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Google Scholar

  • Heinemann, Trine. 2010. The question-response system of Danish. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2703-2725. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hendery, Rachel. 2012. Relative clauses in time and space: A case study in the methods of diachronic typology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia. John Benjamins. Google Scholar

  • Idiatov, Dmitry. 2007. A typology of non-selective interrogative pronominals. PhD dissertation, Universiteit Antwerpen. Google Scholar

  • Kitzinger, Celia, Gene H. Lerner, Jörg Zinken, Sue Wilkinson, Heidi Kevoe-Feldman and Sonja Ellis. 2013. Reformulating place. Journal of Pragmatics 55: 43-50. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lang, Adrienne. 1973. Enga dictionary with English index. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Google Scholar

  • Lang, Adrienne. 1975. The semantics of classificatory verbs in Enga (and other Papua New Guinea languages). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Google Scholar

  • Levelt, Willem J. M. and Stephanie Kelter. 1982. Surface form and memory in question answering. Cognitive Psychology 14: 78-106. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C. 2010. Questions and responses in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2741-2755. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C. 2012. Interrogative intimations: On a possible social economics of interrogatives. In Jan P. de Ruiter (ed.), Questions: Formal, functional, and interactive perspectives, 11-32. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C. and David Wilkins (eds). 2006a. Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Levinson, Stephen C. and David Wilkins. 2006b. The background to the study of the language of space. In Stephen C. Levinson and David Wilkins (eds), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Loughnane, Robyn. 2009. A grammar of Oksapmin. PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne. http://repository.unimelb.edu.au/10187/4788 Google Scholar

  • Mackenzie, J. Laclan. 2009. Content interrogatives in a sample of 50 languages. Lingua 119: 1131-1163. Google Scholar

  • Mallory, J. P. and D. Q. Adams. 2006. The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

  • Preacher, Kristopher J. 2001. Calculation for the chi-square test: An interactive calculation tool for chi-square tests of goodness of fit and independence [Computer software]. http://quantpsy.org. Google Scholar

  • Ross, Malcolm. 2005. Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages. In Andrew Pawley, Robert Attenborough, Jack Golson and Robin Hide (eds). Papuan pasts: Cultural, linguistic and biological histories of Papuan-speaking peoples, 15-65. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. Google Scholar

  • Rumsey, Alan. 2002. Men stand, women sit: On the grammaticalisation of posture verbs in Papuan languages, its bodily basis and cultural correlates. In John Newman (ed.), The linguistics of sitting, standing and lying, 179–211. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar

  • Sadock, Jerrold M. and Arnold M. Zwicky. 1985. Speech act distinctions in syntax. In Timothy Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description, Volume I: Clause structure, 155-196. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • San Roque, Lila. 2008. An introduction to Duna grammar. PhD dissertation, Australian National University. Google Scholar

  • San Roque, Lila and Robyn Loughnane. 2012. Inheritance, contact and change in the New Guinea Highlands evidentiality area. Language and Linguistics in Melanesia: Special Issue 2012 Part II, 397-427. Google Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A.1972. Notes on a conversational practice: Formulating place. In D. Sudnow (ed.), Studies in social interaction, 75-119. New York: Free Press. Google Scholar

  • Schegloff , Emanuel A. 1996. Some practices for referring to persons in talk-in-interaction: A partial sketch of a systematics. In Barbara Fox (ed.), Studies in anaphora, 437-485. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar

  • Schmerse, Daniel, Elena Lieven and Michael Tomasello. 2013. Error patterns in young German children’s wh-questions. Journal of Child Language 40: 656-671 doi:10.1017/S0305000912000104 CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Siemund, Peter. 2001. Interrogative constructions. In Martin Haspelmath, Ekkehard König, Wulf Oesterreicher and Wolfgang Raible (eds), Language typology and language universals, 1010-1028. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Google Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya. 2010. An overview of the question-response system in American English conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2772-2781. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya and N. J. Enfield. 2010. A coding scheme for question-response seqeunces in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 42: 2620-2626. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya, N. J. Enfield, Penelope Brown, Christina Englert, Makato Hayashi, Trine Heinemann, Gertie Hoymann, Federico Rossano, Jan P. de Ruiter, Kyung-EunYoon and Stephen C. Levinson. 2009. Universals and cultural variation in turn-taking in conversation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(26): 10587-10592. doi:10.1073/pnas.0903616106. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya, N. J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson (eds). 2010. Question-response sequences in conversation across ten languages. [Special Issue] Journal of Pragmatics 42(10). CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tyack, Dorothy and David Ingram. 1977. Children’s production and comprehension of questions. Journal of Child Language 4: 211-224 doi:10.1017/S0305000900001616 CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ultan, Russell. 1978. Some general characteristics of interrogative systems. In Joseph H. Greenberg, (ed.). Universals of human language, Vol. IV, 211-248. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Google Scholar

  • van Putten, Saskia. 2014. Information structure in Avatime. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Google Scholar

  • Wilkins, David P. 2002. The concept of place among the Arrernte. In Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson (eds), The land is a map: Placenames of indigenous origin in Australia, 24-41. Canberra: Pandanus Books. Google Scholar

  • Wilkins, David P. 2006. Towards an Arrernte grammar of space. In Stephen C. Levinson and David P. Wilkins (eds), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity, 24-62. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

  • Zhang, Sihong. 2014. Evidentiality in Ersu. In Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon (eds), The grammar of knowledge: A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2015-06-09

Accepted: 2016-01-15

Published Online: 2016-04-25


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2016-0005.

Export Citation

© 2016 Lila San Roque. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in