Rhetorical questions, relevance and scales

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Title: Rhetorical questions, relevance and scales
Authors: Gutiérrez Rexach, Javier
Keywords: Interrogación retórica | Lingüística comparada | Análisis del discurso | Teoría de la relevancia | Usos lingüísticos | Negación | Polaridad negativa | Análisis semántico-pragmático
Issue Date: Nov-1998
Publisher: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Citation: GUTIÉRREZ REXACH, Javier. “Rhetorical questions, relevance and scales”. Revista alicantina de estudios ingleses. No. 11 (Nov. 1998). ISSN 0214-4808, pp. 139-155
Abstract: Rhetorical questions, and other varieties of pragmatically conditioned questions, present a challenge for a purely truth-conditional theory of the interpretation of interrogatives. In this paper, it is argued that relevance-theoretic principles account for the conditions of use of rhetorical questions. Concretely, it is proposed that a pragmatic principle, the "Bottom of Scale Principle", critically interacts with the Principle of Relevance and derives the dynamic meaning of the rhetorical use of a question. The Bottom of Scale Principle is also associated with the particular entailment and monotonicity properties of interrogatives, which explain the ability of rhetorical questions to license negative polarity items.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/5371 | http://dx.doi.org/10.14198/raei.1998.11.11
ISSN: 0214-4808
DOI: 10.14198/raei.1998.11.11
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Appears in Collections:Revistas - Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses - 1998, No. 11

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