A particle-like use of hwæþer : Wisdom’s questions in Boethius

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2022
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ARTIAGOITIA, Xabier, ed., Arantzazu ELORDIETA, ed., Sergio MONFORTE, ed.. Discourse Particles : Syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and historical aspects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2022, pp. 41-64. Linguistik aktuell/Linguistics today. 276. ISBN 978-90-272-1107-1. Available under: doi: 10.1075/la.276.02eck
Zusammenfassung

The paper investigates unembedded hwæþer questions in Old English (OE). We argue that they represent an intermediate stage in the development of hwæþer ‘which of the two’ to modern English whether. Syntactically, we find a range of quasi-subordinating uses of hwæþer in questions that all have in common that the speaker expresses a pedagogical question. Pedagogical questions are questions the speaker knows the answer to, but is urging the addressee to consider while drawing their own conclusions. In the OE Boethius, hwæþer can convey this use-conditional pragmatic flavour for polar questions. It thus comes close in function to other use-conditional particles.

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400 Sprachwissenschaft, Linguistik
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pedagogical question, domain of choice, wh-pronoun, Old English, reanalysis
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undefined / . - undefined, undefined
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ISO 690ECKARDT, Regine, George WALKDEN, 2022. A particle-like use of hwæþer : Wisdom’s questions in Boethius. In: ARTIAGOITIA, Xabier, ed., Arantzazu ELORDIETA, ed., Sergio MONFORTE, ed.. Discourse Particles : Syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and historical aspects. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2022, pp. 41-64. Linguistik aktuell/Linguistics today. 276. ISBN 978-90-272-1107-1. Available under: doi: 10.1075/la.276.02eck
BibTex
@incollection{Eckardt2022parti-57344,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.1075/la.276.02eck},
  title={A particle-like use of hwæþer : Wisdom’s questions in Boethius},
  number={276},
  isbn={978-90-272-1107-1},
  publisher={John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  address={Amsterdam},
  series={Linguistik aktuell/Linguistics today},
  booktitle={Discourse Particles : Syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and historical aspects},
  pages={41--64},
  editor={Artiagoitia, Xabier and Elordieta, Arantzazu and Monforte, Sergio},
  author={Eckardt, Regine and Walkden, George}
}
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