Embedded Inverted Questions as Embedded Illocutionary Acts

Rebecca Woods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Embedded inverted questions (EIQs) in English dialects are a quasi-quotational method for reporting speech. In this article, new observations about their structure, distribution and interpretation are shown to indicate evidence for embedded illocutionary acts. It is proposed that they have independent illocutionary force in order to host a range of root phenomena and be interpreted as a representation of a previous question-under-discussion, but that they also show some characteristics of embedded clauses. It will also be shown that they are not selected by the matrix verb they appear under; instead, the true complement to the matrix verb is a content noun like 'question' whose propositional and expressive content is identified as that of the EIQ. The proposals made here have repercussions both for speech act theory and for the understanding of clausal complementation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
EditorsKyeong-min Kim, Pcholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, Lisa Shorten
Place of PublicationSomerville, MA.
PublisherCascadilla Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781574734690
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Embedded Inverted Questions as Embedded Illocutionary Acts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this