The recognition of Dutch declarative questions

R.J. Beun

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper I will discuss how questions in Dutch with a declarative sentence type can be recognized in isolation and in natural dialogue. Declarative questions were taken from telephone dialogues where subjects tried to get information from an information clerk at Amsterdam airport. In previous experiments these questions were isolated from the original context and presented on tape to subjects with a number of answers. A disadvantage of this method is that it is impossible to distinguish the influence of prosodic indicators from that of textual ones. Here, an experiment is described where utterances were presented on a screen to eliminate prosodic characteristics and to concentrate on textual indicators only. In the interpretation by the subjects of the declarative as a question the appearance of certain pragmatic particles plays a decisive role. In the following I will present the results of the visual experiment and describe how certain particles contribute to the responses of the subjects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-56
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Pragmatics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


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