"God that came out quick didn't it eh"Variable and invariable tag questions in spoken British English

  1. María Angeles Gómez González 1
  1. 1 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

    Santiago de Compostela, España

    ROR https://ror.org/030eybx10

The Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction
  1. María Angeles Gómez González (coord.)
  2. J. Lachlan Mackenzie (coord.)

Editorial: John Benjamins

ISBN: 978-90-272-0141-6

Ano de publicación: 2018

Páxinas: 109-144

Tipo: Capítulo de libro


This study compares and contrasts British English variable tag questions, i.e. those containing a grammatically dependent question tag (e.g. isn't it?), with invariable ones, i.e. those containing lexical tag questions (e.g. right?). Results are reported for five research questions concerning the (i) formal and (ii) functional characteristics of variable and invariable tag questions, as well as the factors motivating the choice of one type over the other, namely (iii) gender, (iv) age and (v) genre. Based on a sample of 858 tag questions, my findings suggest that British English shows a consistently higher preference for variable tag questions (717 vs. 141 tokens). Further differences and parallelisms are revealed for formal, functional, sociolinguistic and distributional conditions, raising new implications for further inquiry.