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

Open Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Ehrhart, Sabine

1 Issue per year


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

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

When “Questions“ are not Questions. Inferences and Conventionalization in Spanish But-Prefaced Partial Interrogatives

Oliver Ehmer / Malte Rosemeyer
Published Online: 2018-05-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2018-0005

Abstract

The present paper analyzes the discourse-pragmatic function of introducing Spanish qué ‘what’- interrogatives with the concessive connective pero ‘but’. In some contexts, a pero-preface contributes to the interpretation of the interrogative as the realization of an interactional challenge rather than a request for information (e.g. an information question). We explore the inferential processes by which the peropreface leads to an interpretation of the interrogative as an interactional challenge and try to demonstrate that this challenge function of pero-prefaced qué-interrogatives may not only achieved ‘ad hoc’ by a local combination of the constitutive elements, but also by conventionalized form-function associations that developed diachronically. In a first step, we analyze pero-prefaced qué-interrogatives in a corpus of spoken Present Day Spanish. There are three main functions of pero-prefaces: to signal that a previous answer to the same interrogative is insufficient, to insist on an answer to a previously unattended request, or to challenge an immediately preceding action by an interlocutor. Using methodology from variationist linguistics, we identify entrenched patterns of pero-prefaced qué-interrogatives that have conventionalized the challenge function. In a second step, we conduct a diachronic variationist analysis of the development of Spanish pero-prefaced qué-interrogatives between 1700 and 1975, testing the hypothesis that the challenge reading developed later than the question reading. Our results show that due to their largely monological nature, the same inferential processes cued by pero lead to different discourse functions in historical texts. Over time, however, the use of pero-prefaced interrogatives started to become more likely in constructed dialogues. We argue that this change reflects an ongoing conventionalization of the challenge function in pero-prefaced interrogatives in spoken language.

Keywords : interrogative; concession; inference; wh-question

References

  • Anscombre, Jean-Claude & Oswald Ducrot. 1977. Deux mais en francais? Lingua 43(1). 23-40.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Auer, Peter. 1996. The pre-front field in spoken German and its relevance as a grammaticalization position. Pragmatics 6(3). 295- 322.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Auer, Peter. 2016. ‘Wie geil ist das denn?’ Eine neue Konstruktion im Netzwerk ihrer Nachbarn. Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik 44(1). 69-92.Google Scholar

  • Barth-Weingarten, Dagmar. 2003. Concession in spoken English. On the realisation of a discourse-pragmatic relation. Tübingen: Narr.Google Scholar

  • Bartón, Kamil. 2015. MuMIn: Model selection and model averaging based on in- formation criteria (AICc and alike). Available online at https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/MuMIn/index.html. Last access 3 May 2017.Google Scholar

  • Bates, Douglas, Martin Maechler, Ben Bolker, Steven Walker, Rune Haubo Bojesen Christensen, Henrik Singmann, Bin Dai & Gabor Grothendiekt. 2015. lme4: Linear Mixed-Effects Models using ‘Eigen’ and S4. Available online at https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/lme4/index.html. Last access 23 March 2017.Google Scholar

  • Bell, David M. 1998. Cancellative discourse markers: a core/periphery approach. Pragmatics 8. 515-541.Google Scholar

  • Bell, David M. 2010. Nevertheless, still and yet: Concessive cancellative discourse markers. Journal of Pragmatics 42. 1912-1927.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Blakemore, Diane. 1989. Denial and contrast: A relevance theoretic analysis of but. Linguistics and Philosophy 12(1). 15-37.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Briz, Antonio. 1993. Los conectores pragmaticos en espanol coloquial (I): su papel argumentativo. Contextos XI/21-22. 145-188.Google Scholar

  • Broccias, Cristiano. 2013. Cognitive Grammar. In Graeme Trousdale & Thomas Hoffman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Canavan, Alexandra & George Zipperlen. 1996. CALLHOME Spanish Speech. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium.Google Scholar

  • Clayman, Steven E. 2010. Address terms in the service of other actions: the case of news interview talk. Discourse & Communication 4. 161-183.Google Scholar

  • Clayman, Steven E. 2012. Address terms in the organization of turns at talk: the case of pivotal turn extensions. Journal of Pragmatics 4. 1853-1867.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth & Dagmar Barth-Weingarten. 2011. A system for transcribing talk-in-interaction: GAT 2. English translation and adaptation of Selting, Margret et al. (2009): Gesprachsanalytisches Transkriptionssystem 2. Gesprächsforschung - Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion 12. 1-51.Google Scholar

  • Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth & Sandra A. Thompson. 2000. Concessive patterns in conversation. In Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen & Bernd Kortmann (eds.), Cause - Condition - Concession - Contrast. Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives, 33, 381-410. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Cresti, Emanuela & Massimo Moneglia (eds.). 2005. C-ORAL-ROM. Integrated reference corpora for spoken Romance languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Croft, William. 2013. Radical Construction Grammar. In Thomas Hoffmann & Graeme Trousdale (eds.), The Oxford handbook of construction grammar, 211-232. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Davies, Mark. 2015-2016. Corpus del español, web/dialects. Available at http://www.corpusdelespanol.org/. Last access 8 March 2017.Google Scholar

  • De Smet, Hendrik. 2012. The course of actualization. Language 88(3). 601-633.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ehmer, Oliver. 2010. cespla - Corpus de Conversaciones ESpontáneas PLAtenses. http://www.cespla.de. Last access 5 January 2018.Google Scholar

  • Ehmer, Oliver. 2011. Imagination und Animation. Die Herstellung mentaler Räume durch animierte Rede. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Gabriel, Christoph. 2011. Hamburg Corpus of Argentinean Spanish (HaCASpa). https://corpora.uni-hamburg.de/hzsk/de/islandora/object/spoken-corpus:hacaspa. Last access 5 January 2018.Google Scholar

  • Günthner, Susanne. 2005. Narrative reconstructions of past experiences. Adjustments and modifications in the process of recontextualizing past experience. In Uta M. Quasthoff & Tabea Becker (eds.), Narrative Interaction, 285-301. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Group.Google Scholar

  • Hansen, Maj-Britt Mosegaard. 1998a. Discourse Markers. Lingua 104. 235-260.Google Scholar

  • Hansen, Maj-Britt Mosegaard. 1998b. The function of discourse particles. A study with special reference to spoken French. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hayano, Kaoru. 2012. Question Design in Conversation. In Tanya Stivers & Jack Sidnell (eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, 395-414. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John. 1984. A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. In J. Maxwell Atkinson & John Heritage (eds.), Structures of social action, 299-345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John. 2007. Intersubjectivity and progressivity in person (and place) reference. In Nick J. Enfield & Tanya Stivers (eds.), Person Reference in Interaction: Linguistic, Cultural and Social Perspectives, 255-280. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John. 2013. Turn-initial position and some of its occupants. Journal of Pragmatics 57. 331-337.Google Scholar

  • Heritage, John & Marja-Leena Sorjonen. 1994. Constituting and Maintaining Activities across Sequences: And-Prefacing as a Feature of Question Design. Language in Society 23(1). 1-29.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hothorn, Torsten, Kurt Hornik, Carolin Strobl & Achim Zeileis. 2015. party: A Laboratory for Recursive Partytioning. Available online at http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/party/index.html. Last access 23 March 2017.Google Scholar

  • Iten, Corinne. 2005. Linguistic Meaning, Truth Conditions and Relevance. The Case of Concessives. New York. Palgrave.Google Scholar

  • Jol, Guusje & Fleur van der Houwen. 2014. Police interviews with child witnesses: pursuing a response with maar (= Dutch but )- prefaced questions. International Journal of Speech, Language & the Law 21(1).Google Scholar

  • Jørgensen, Annette Myre, Esperanza Eguia Padilla, Anna-Brita Stenstrom, Juan Antonio Martinez Lopez, Eli Marie Drange Danbolt, Mariano Reyes Tejedor, Anna Acevedo, Giovanna Angela Mura, Stine Huseby, Lise Holmvik, Solfrid Hernes, Evert Jakobsen, Kristine Eide & Marie Espeland. proyecto COLA. Corpus Oral de Languaje Adolescente. http://www.colam.org/. Last access 5 January 2018.Google Scholar

  • Küttner, Uwe. This SI. Investigating inferences in sequences of action: The case of claiming “just-now” recollection with oh that’s right.Google Scholar

  • Küttner, Uwe-A. 2016. That-initial turns in English conversation. Doctoral dissertation. In. Potsdam, Germany: University of Potsdam.Google Scholar

  • Lakoff, Robin. 1971. If’s, and’s and but’s about conjunction. In Charles J. Fillmore & Donald Terence Langendoen (eds.), Studies in Linguistic Semantics, 114-149. Irvington: New York, HoIt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar

  • Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume 1. Theoretical prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Li, Xiaoting. 2016. Some discourse-interactional uses of yinwei ‘because’ and its multimodal production in Mandarin conversation. Language Sciences 58(Special issue: “Adverbial patterns in interaction”). 51-78.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mazeland, Harrie & Mike Huiskes. 2001. Dutch ‘but’ as a sequential conjunction: Its use as a resumption marker. In Margret Selting & Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen (eds.), Studies in Interactional Linguistics, 141-169. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Nemo, Francois. 2002. But (and mais) as morpheme(s). Delta 18(2).CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Real Academia Espanola. 2016. Banco de datos (CORDE) [en línea]. Corpus diacrónico del español. Available online at http://www.rae.es. Last access 20 April 2012.Google Scholar

  • Rosemeyer, Malte. 2016a. The development of iterative verbal periphrases in Romance. Linguistics 54(2). 235-272.Google Scholar

  • Rosemeyer, Malte. 2016b. Modeling frequency effects in language change. In Heike Behrens & Stefan Pfander (eds.), Experience Counts: Frequency Effects in Language, 175-207. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. 1979. Identification and Recognition in Telephone Conversation Openings in Everyday Language. In George Psathas (ed.), Studies in Ethnomethodology. New York: Irvington.Google Scholar

  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. & Harvey Sacks. 1973. Opening up closings. Semiotica 8. 289-327.Google Scholar

  • Schiffrin, Deborah. 1987. Discourse markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Selting, Margret, Peter Auer, Dagmar Barth-Weingarten, Jorg Bergmann, Pia Bergmann, Karin Birkner, Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, Arnulf Deppermann, Peter Gilles, Susanne Günthner, Martin Hartung, Friederike Kern, Christine Mertzlufft, Christian Meyer, Miriam Morek, Frank Oberzaucher, Jorg Peters, Uta Quasthoff, Wilfried Schütte, Anja Stukenbrock & Susanne Uhmann. 2009. Gesprachsanalytisches Transkriptionssystem 2 (GAT 2). Gesprächsforschung - Online-Zeitschrift zur verbalen Interaktion 10. 353-402.Google Scholar

  • Sperber, Dan & Wilson, Deirdre. 1996 [1986]. Relevance. Communication and Cognition, Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya & Nick J. Enfield. 2010. A coding scheme for question-response sequences in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 42(10).Google Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya & Jeffrey Robinson. 2006. A preference for progressivity in interaction. Language in Society 35(3). 367-392.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stivers, Tanya & Federico Rossano. 2010. Mobilizing response. Research on Language and Social Interaction 43(1). 3-31.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Streeck, Jürgen & Ulrike Hartge. 1992. Previews: gestures at the transition place. In Peter Auer & Aldo Di Luzio (eds.), The Contextualization of Language, 135-157. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Tagliamonte, Sali & Harald Baayen. 2012. Models, forests and trees of York English: Was/were variation as a case study for statistical practice. Language Variation and Change 24(2). 135-178.Google Scholar

  • Torreira, Francisco & Mirjam Ernestus. 2010. The Nijmegen Corpus of Casual Spanish. Proceedings of LREC 2010. http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2010/. Last access 5 January 2018.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2017-05-17

Accepted: 2018-02-15

Published Online: 2018-05-24


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 70–100, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2018-0005.

Export Citation

© 2018 Oliver Ehmer, Malte Rosemeyer, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in