Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Tag Question

Tag Question

A tag question is a constituent that is added after a statement in order to request confirmation or disconfirmation of the statement from the addressee. Often it expresses the bias of the speaker toward one answer.

A tag question often includes a

  • be verb
  • predicate meaning ‘true’, and
  • negative.

(English, German, French)

  • The English isn’t he?, as in the following sentence:

    He’s a pleasant fellow, isn’t he?

  • The German nicht wahr? ‘not true?’
  • The French n’est ce pas? ‘is it not?’
Page/s: 182–183
Source: Sadock and Zwicky 1985

Sadock, Jerrold M., and Arnold M. Zwicky. 1985. "Speech act distinctions in syntax." In Shopen 1985b

Page/s: 811
Source: Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985

Quirk, Randolph, S. Greenbaum, G. Leech, and J. Svartvik. 1985.A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman.

Page/s: 1201
Source: Mish 1991

Mish, Frederick (editor). 1991.Webster's ninth new collegiate dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. 1,564 pages. 0877795088; indexed 0877795096; deluxe 087779510X.

Page/s: 233
Source: Hartmann and Stork 1972

Hartmann, R.R.K., and F.C. Stork. 1972.Dictionary of language and linguistics. London: Applied Science.

Page/s: 304
Source: Crystal 1985

Crystal, David. 1985.A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 2nd edition. New York: Basil Blackwell.

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