Year of Study in Programme: First
Supervisor: Dr Susagna Tubau
Area/Topic of Research: Syntax, Tag Questions, Non-Standard English
Title/Provisional Title of Thesis: Question Tags in English, Spanish and Catalan: A Formal Perspective
Short Abstract: In English, canonical tag questions are syntactic structures that turn a statement, that is usually a declarative into a question, as in: “That is amazing, isn’t it?”. According to Tottie and Hoffmann (2006) canonical tag questions are typical of English. This type of tag question has two clauses, one consisting of an anchor and the other of a tag. The first has a lexical verb, an auxiliary or a modal while the later must have a modal or an auxiliary. Usually, the auxiliary or modal verb that appears in the anchor is repeated in the tag with reversed polarity. Not as usual, both the anchor and the tag may have the same polarity. Avery (2014) states that, if there is a canonical type, then, naturally, there must be a “non-canonical” type. This type includes those tag questions that do not conform with the canonical type. These non-canonical tags are those which structure is always the same no matter what the anchor is. This structure is frequent in many languages such as Spanish and Catalan. The main goal is to find out what implications a deeper understanding of the syntactic structure of tag questions across (non-) Standard English, as well as other languages such as Catalan and Spanish, may have for current linguistic theory.