Tag Questions in Persian: Investigating the Conversational Functions

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Shahid Sattari Aeronautical University of Sciences and Technologies

Abstract

This article intends to identify the use and typify the functions of tag questions (TQs) in Persian everyday conversations and dialogic interaction.  The analyses were made based on two data sources:  A documentary film titled Commander in which the participants are engaged in free interactions, and an audio-recorded instrument named CALLFRIEND which consists of Iranian native speakers' communication on the phone. The datasets were transcribed using CHAT conventions by the researcher. Also, two raters were involved in the coding process and several rounds of coding and discussions were carried out in an effort to fine-tune the functional classification. This study found some overlap between Persian TQs and the ones from other languages, which confirms speakers' presupposition accounting for the largest portion of the corpora. However, there have been found some functions, namely holding the floor, scorning hearer, and ordering or encouraging, which do not conform to any existing classifications of tag questions.  The study was implemented within the principles of Conversational Analysis, and the researcher has explored the relationship between the functions and their settings in which conversations were uttered, the expected response, and any other influential sociolinguistic factors. 

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