Message 1: American English Question TagsDate: 24-Sep-2004
From: Erik Schleef <eschleefumich.edu>
Subject: American English Question Tags
I am currently working on a dissertation investigating discourse
markers and question tags in American academic discourse.
Not surprisingly, 'right' is the most frequently used question tag in
my data set. Variant question tags (of the type isn't it; aren't I;
etc.) are quite rare but do occur. While there is a lot of literature
on structural and sociolinguistic issues regarding variant question
tags, ?innit?, and ?eh?, relatively little has been written about 'right'
and its relation to variant question tags in American English.
I would therefore very much appreciate pointers to literature on:
1. the use and development of 'right' as a question tag in American
2. restrictions (prescriptively as well as actual use) on the use of
question tag 'right' versus other question tags. 'Right' does not
seem to be used after imperatives and questions, and variant question
tags seem to be preferred after opinion statements in my data set.
Are there more restrictions or different ones in other contexts/varieties?
University of Michigan
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Message 2: Direction-specific English 'in'Date: 23-Sep-2004
From: Robert Dewell <dewellloyno.edu>
Subject: Direction-specific English 'in'
English 'in' can describe insertion from any direction, but I can
imagine a language that would distinguish, say, downward insertion
(e.g. a cookie into a jar) from lateral insertion (e.g. a necklace
into a wall safe). Can anyone point me to a language that makes this
kind of distinction with respect to direction of insertion?
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
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