Modelling the syntax-discourse interface: a syntactic analysis of 'please'

Rebecca Woods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Many scholars have proposed a Speech Act Phrase (SAP) high in the left periphery that is said to encode aspects of the discourse context, including illocutionary force. However, the potential identity of the head of this projection is up for debate. I propose that please is a candidate for the overt SA head in English. Distributional, interpretive and acquisition data show that there are (minimally) two types of syntactically-integrated please. One is a functional head that marks an
utterance as a request. The other is an adverbial whose use is determined by contextual factors and that marks politeness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConSOLE XXIII
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe (7-9 January 2015, Paris)
EditorsKate Bellamy, Elena Karvovskaya, Martin Kohlberger, George Saad
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherLeiden University
Pages360-382
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event23rd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe - University Paris Diderot, Paris, France
Duration: 7 Jan 20159 Jan 2015
Conference number: 23
https://sites.google.com/site/consolexxiii2015/home (Link to Conference Website)

Conference

Conference23rd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe
Abbreviated titleConSOLE XXIII
CountryFrance
CityParis
Period7/01/159/01/15
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Woods, R. (2016). Modelling the syntax-discourse interface: a syntactic analysis of 'please'. In K. Bellamy, E. Karvovskaya, M. Kohlberger, & G. Saad (Eds.), ConSOLE XXIII: Proceedings of the 23rd Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe (7-9 January 2015, Paris) (pp. 360-382). Leiden: Leiden University.