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Rhetorical Questions in Papuan Malay, Other Malayic Languages, and the Papuan Languages of West Papua

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Title:Rhetorical Questions in Papuan Malay, Other Malayic Languages, and the Papuan Languages of West Papua
Authors:Kluge, Angela
Keywords:Papuan Malay
rhetorical questions
pseudo questions
discourse-stimulating questions
Austronesian languages
Date Issued:03 Dec 2018
Abstract:This paper presents a descriptive and typological study of rhetorical questions. The first part describes the form and functions of rhetorical questions in Papuan Malay. There are no formal characteristics that mark Papuan Malay rhetorical questions. Instead, the context indicates whether a question has rhetorical functions. Typically, Papuan Malay rhetorical questions have social functions as pseudo questions, while their discourse-stimulating uses as stimulus questions are marginal. Pseudo questions are used to convey assertions, expressions of incertitude and negative evaluations. The speakersメ underlying emotions tend to be negative. The second part of this paper investigates typological aspects of rhetorical questions in Malayic languages, as well as other Austronesian and Papuan languages in West Papua. Three patterns emerge which are submitted as testable hypotheses for further studies on rhetorical questions: (1) rhetorical questions tend to have social functions; (2) speakers do not use them to convey positive evaluations; and (3) rhetorical questions tend to carry underlying negative emotions. For Papuan Malay, at least, all three patterns apply.
Pages/Duration:32 pages
Journal:Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society
Appears in Collections: A. Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)

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