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The Tag Questions in American and British English

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Case Study  •  3,210 Words (13 Pages)  •  3,290 Views

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Professor: Verena Jäger

Proseminar: "British and American English: Convergence or Divergence?"

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Dept. of English and Linguistics

WS 2011

Tag Questions in British and American English:

"You see the differences, don't you?"

20 February 2011

Ijermia Hamid

Homburgerlandstr. 840

60437 Frankfurt am Main

5th semester (B. Ed.)

Table of Content

1. Introduction 2

2. Features of Tag Questions 3

2.1. Polarity Types 3

2.2. Concordance 4

2.3. General Purpose of Tag Questions 4

3. Comparative Point of View: British and American English 5

3.1. Polarity Patterns and Peculiarities 5

3.2. Verbal and Pronominal Use in Tags 6

3.3. Pragmatic Functions of Tag Questions 7

3.4. Sociolinguistic Factors 9

4. Conclusion 8

5. References 10

1. Introduction

While consulting different types of grammatical articles, books and essays, or scientific magazines, we realize that the term Tag Question is not used or associated with only one sense, meaning or context. It is all depending on the author of these articles, books and magazines. Moreover, and even if the appellations question tags, tag questions or tag have a familiar ring for every anglicist, it is paradoxically not easy to define these terms in a simple and consensual way. Thus, one should make a difference between these words, which may sound similar or seem to be synonyms only in appearance, and then place limits on the extent of these latter for the fact that they may overlap with different realities.

The word tag comes from the


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