Westphal, Michael (2020):
"Question Tags in Philippine English." Corpus Pragmatics 4.4: 401-422.
Journal Article

Abstract This study investigates the use of question tags (QTs) in a subcorpus of dialogues from the Philippine component of the International Corpus of English. It takes into account the full range of QT forms used in Philippine English, including English variant QTs as well as English and Tagalog invariant forms. The analysis investigates the effects of text type and pragmatic function on the selection of particular forms. The results show that Filipino speakers use English and Tagalog forms to almost equal proportions, but invariant forms dominate by far over variant ones. Text type has a strong effect on the overall frequency of QTs and on the distribution of individual forms. In addition, function is shown to be a significant factor that influences QT use: speakers preferentially use specific QTs over others for particular functions in specific contexts. The results show that it is beneficial to analyze the full range of QTs to describe the characteristics of Philippine English and to illustrate variety-internal variation. Furthermore, the analysis of English and Tagalog QTs shows that variation in discourse-pragmatic features can provide valuable insights into language contact situations. In conclusion, the study highlights the benefits of small diverse corpora for corpus-pragmatic research as they allow studying pragmatic phenomena in a range of different contexts.