The Question as a Type of Directive Speech Act
Brian Nolan [+]
Technological University Dublin (retired)
Questions are directive speech acts and an attempt by S to get H to provide an answer to the question. In chapter 7, The question as a type of directive speech act, we characterise in substantial detail the pragmatic dimensions of the question forms of Irish and the various functions of these questions. When S asks a question of H, S requests that H perform a speech act of providing an answer-response to S’s question. Importantly, the form of the response is determined by the propositional content of the question. Irish has three questions forms: alternate questions, polar yes-no interrogatives, and information questions. Questions are best understood as part of a dialogue with a chain of speech acts. The required response to one of these question forms may be constrained in certain ways depending on the nature of the question. Therefore, to gain a more complete insight into the question forms and their functions, we consider the nature of answers given in response.