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Answers to Polarity Questions: A Typological Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Polarity questions, i.e. questions that demand as an answer either an affirmation or a denial (e.g. yes or no), are considered to be an universal language feature. Different strategies to answer polarity questions have been observed across languages. Sadock & Zwicky (1985) identified three systems of answer strategies: yes/no systems, agree/disagree systems and echosystems. Other studies have attested languages exhibiting a mix of these types (i.a. Floydet al. 2016, Holmberg 2016). Sadock & Zwicky (1985) do not offer any statements about the frequency distribution of the language systems, nor do they explain what kind of sample was used for their analysis. The aim of this study is to fill this gap. Specifically, the goals are to investigate the validity of the typology offered in Sadock & Zwicky (1985) and to establish some estimates about the cross-linguistic frequency of the types identified during this investigation. The data are collected through consultation of reference grammars and elicitation by means of a questionnaire.

Abstract [sv]

Polaritetsfrågor, frågor där det förväntade svaret är ja eller nej, anses vara ett universellt språk drag. Olika strategier för att svara på polaritetsfrågor har observerats i världens språk. Sadock & Zwicky (1985) identifierade tre svarssystem: polaritetsystem (yes/no system), sanningssystem (agree/disagree system) och ekosystem (echo system). Andra studier har funnit att språk också kan blanda dessa system (i.a. Floyd et al. 2016, Holmberg 2016). Sadock & Zwicky (1985) varken redogör för vilken distribution dessa svarssystem har eller vilket urval resultaten baseras på. Syftet med denna studie är att fylla den luckan. Målet är att undersöka validiteten i Sadock & Zwickys (1985) typologi samt att fastställa den tvärspråkliga frekvensen för de svarssystem som undersöks. Datainsamlingen sker genom grammatikor och elicitering genom en enkät.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 44
Keywords [en]
polarity questions, yes-no questions, typology, polarity
Keywords [sv]
polaritetsfrågor, ja/nej-frågor, typologi, polaritet
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157363OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157363DiVA, id: diva2:1219275
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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