Westera (2018) – Rising declaratives of the Quality-suspending kind

Rising declaratives of the Quality-suspending kind
Matthijs Westera
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004330
November 2018
The theory of Intonational Compliance Marking (ICM) maintains that speakers of English use final rising intonation to indicate a suspension (potential violation) of a conversational maxim (­Westera 2013; 2014). This paper aims to show that a certain kind of rising declarative, one which has been prominent in the literature (e.g., Gunlogson 2008), can be adequately understood in ICM’s terms as involving a suspension of the maxim of Quality. By explicating certain minimal assumptions about pragmatics, this understanding accounts for three core features of such ­rising declaratives: their question-likeness, the speaker bias they express and their badness out of the blue. In a nutshell, their question-likeness is derived from principles of general co­operative discourse, their bias from the relative importance of the maxim of Quality, and their badness out of the blue from a competition between rising declaratives and interrogatives. The account is compared in detail to various existing accounts of rising declaratives of the relevant sort, highlighting explanatory and empirical differences.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004330
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 3(1), 121
keywords: rising declarative; intonational compliance marking; bias; conversational maxim; question under discussion, semantics, phonology
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Posted in Research (e.g. papers, books)