Production and Perception of Rhetorical Questions in German


Rhetorical questions are an interesting linguistic phenomenon that provides valuable information about the interaction of different linguistic levels. Previous literature has mainly been concerned with lexical markers of rhetoricity (e.g. particles, negation, polarity items). One important marker of rhetoricity that has as yet hardly been investigated systematically is the prosodic realization of rhetorical questions. The present project aims at closing this gap. It investigates how interrogative clauses that are syntactically and lexically ambiguous in terms of their illocution (rhetorical question vs. information-seeking questions; e.g. G: Wer war denn noch nicht in Berlin?, E: Who has not been to Berlin?) are prosodically realized in German and how such lexically and syntactically ambiguous interrogative clauses are interpreted.

  • Department of Linguistics
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Schwerpunktprogramm third-party funds research funding program 426/16
Further information
Period: since 31.03.2019