Imperative clauses with question tags: diachronic approach
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2022, Volume 9, Issue 7, Pages 8055-8070
AbstractThe article discusses special constructions of the English language like Open the window, will you?. The sentences under analysis consist of a prop sentence (anchor) made of imperative and a predicative attached question (tag). The linguistic material is taken from the texts written by English authors during 16th-21st centuries. Lexical and grammatical details of the tags (the forms and the number of the components, their composition) are charted. The peculiarities of the design of the constructions (their graphical representation in the texts, the location of the tags in the anchors) are also paid attention to. It is shown that in the constructions from the texts of the 16-17th centuries in the composition of the tag the negative particle is present as a mandatory element, which in the 18th century becomes a variant one. Until the mid-twentieth century the variety of attached clauses is described by three variants can’t you, will you, won’t you. From the second half of the 20th century onwards, shall we (in the anchors with the initiative let-phrase) and would you are also used. In all the periods described, the attached structure gravitates towards the end of the construction and is placed in the end of the prop sentence, but in the 20th century it can also be built into it.
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