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Cuadernos de Lingüística de El Colegio de México

versión On-line ISSN 2007-736X


CESTERO MANCERA, Ana María. Tag questions for controlling contact: a sociolinguistic study. Cuad. Lingüíst. Col. Méx. [online]. 2019, vol.6, n.1, e111.  Epub 18-Feb-2020. ISSN 2007-736X.

Since the early twentieth century there has been mention of the existence of a phatic or contact function in human communication although only recently has it been explored in any depth. This function is carried out by means of various verbal and non-verbal resources which perform certain specific subfunctions: making sure the communication channel is open and working; establishing, maintaining or bringing the communication to an end; and attracting the interlocutor’s attention. With a view to deepening our understanding of how phatic resources work, what functions they perform and how certain social (sex, age, educational level) and geolectal factors impact their use, we are currently engaged in socio-pragmatic research in the framework of the “Project for the Sociolinguistic Study of Spanish in Spain and America” (PRESEEA), which will enable us to document patterns of general behaviour and variables. In the present case, focusing on the first of the subfunctions mentioned, we have conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses of a sample of semi-guided exchanges in order to determine the main variables and variants to be studied. We also present a first approach to the question of which verbal resources (contact control tag questions) are most used by Madrilenians and how they work, as well as undertaking some comparison with what happens in other Spanish-speaking areas.

Palabras llave : phatic function; tag questions; discourse markers; socio-pragmatics; PRESEEA.

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