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Tag Questions in English

Research August 2015


DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3086.8327

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Thomas Avery
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Tag Questions in English Final Paper 1
Thomas Avery

Tag Questions in English


1. Intro
The English language is full of variant tag questions. These are short words or phrases
that are added onto (tagged onto) the ends of sentences to make the questions, or, as
Cameron, McAlinden, & OLeary (1988) state, grammatical structures in which a
declarative is followed by an attached interrogative clause or tag (p. 81). An example
could be
a. Youre the new student, arent you?
Or,
b. Thats a new watch, isnt it?
But the possibilities are much wider than this. In the English language, tags questions are
many and varied, with possibilities including right?, dont you?, wont I?, will he?, and
would you?, to name but a few. This is not the case in Korean, however. The same examples
translated would be

a. , ?

and,

b. , ?

where (aniya) is an informal negative question along the lines of is it not?, and

doesnt have any apparent grammatical relation to the preceding clause. This is the same for

other tag questions, such as ? and ?, which both equate roughly to right?.

While teaching novice and intermediate EFL learners, and having some Korean
language ability, I have noticed that many of my students use tag questions all the time in
Korean, but find them difficult in English. It would be easy to just put this down to the
English tag question system being more complex, but my study of corpus linguistics this
semester has shown me that relying on intuition in such situations can be both wrong and
detrimental.
Thus I decided it might be valuable to use my final paper to investigate tag questions
in English, and therefore how best to help my students learn them. In order to investigate this,
I settled on the following research questions:
1) What do corpus studies reveal about the way tag questions are used in English?
Thomas Avery 2

2) Is there a standard or most efficient set of tag questions that would make my life as
a teacher easier and provide a simple solution for my students?
2. Defining Tag Questions
2.1. Canonical Forms
If we are to discover the way tag questions are used, we first need to properly define what it
is we are looking for. In English, tag questions as we will discuss them are composed of two
components: an anchor and a tag (Tottie & Hoffman, 2009). An anchor is most often a
declarative such as thats a new watch, and the tag a short pronoun, one, or there and an
auxiliary, modal, or be verb, as in is it? added to the end. However, this is by no means a
rule, as the anchor can change form; another common occurrence in the corpora is an
imperative and a tag (Tottie & Hoffman, 2006).
These are known as canonical tag questions, as they have been described as the most
common and accepted form in both well-respected, pre-corpus studies (Holmes, 1983) and
modern work (Kim & Ahn, 2008; Tottie & Hoffman, 2009). One important feature is that to
remain grammatical, both the anchor and the tag should match. That is, if the anchor includes
a be predicate, the tag, too, must include a correct conjugation of be: Thats a new watch,
isnt it.
Another very important and much-discussed feature of English tag questions is term
polarity (Kimps, 2006). This refers whether the anchor or tag (or both) have positive or
negative elements. For example, a very common polarity for tag questions is the positive-
negative type, in which the anchor is positive but the tag is not. Negative-positive refers to
the opposite, where the anchor is a negative clause, but the tag is positive; this too is fairly
common. Less common, but still significant, is the constant positive tag question, where both
anchor and tag are positive. Lastly, and perhaps controversially, is the negative-negative
form, in which both anchor and tag are negative. Below are some examples of tag questions
with their polarity marked (Tottie & Hoffman, 2009)
Figure 1 - Canonical Tag Questions (Tottie & Hoffman, 2009)
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Although example four seems unnatural, Tottie and Hoffman (2006) record a few
natural occurrences of the form (as does Kimps, 2006), and so it is included. It is important to
note that almost all of the tag questions found in the corpora are almost exclusively taken
from spoken data, and so we can expect more grammatical mistakes to creep in. The only real
occurrences in written data are in fictional works, and even then they are found during
dialogue.

2.2. Non Canonical Forms


The term canonical form naturally implies that there is a non-canonical form. These are
largely split into two categories and appear relatively frequently in the corpora.
2.2.1. Situational Tags
Firstly, Kim & Ahn (2008) show that, while 90% of tag questions in the ICE-GB (the British
Component of the International Corpus of English) follow the above grammatical pattern, a
significant 10% do not. These are often simply a case of adding the tag to somewhere other
than the end of a sentence, as in:
Its a nice watch, isnt it, that youre wearing.

The other exceptions are those tag questions where the anchor and tag do not fit, as in:
What you want really is a greenhouse, dont you?

In which the verbs do not match, or:


Shes planning a wild party, arent you?

Where the pronouns do not match (Kim & Ahn, 2008, p. 12). Kim and Ahn label these as
examples of situational tagging. In both examples, if we consider the context we can
understand the question tags with no problem. In the first, the speaker is focusing on the want
aspect of the anchor, and directs the tag to the interlocutor, thus avoiding the correct pronoun
it and opting for you instead. In the second, we can see that the speaker began by addressing
one interlocutor, but because there is a third party present they shift to address the second
interlocutor directly.
2.2.2. Invariant Tags
The second non canonical form is of much more interest, mostly due to its prevalence in the
corpora (Kim & Ahn, 2008; Martinez, 2011; Moore & Podesva, 2009; Torgerson,
Gabrielatos, Hoffman, & Fox, 2011). It breaks the grammatical rule in the same way as
before, in that either the verb or noun in the tag do not match the anchor, but there is no
situational factor present. Rather, a canonical tag has been shortened and applied to more
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situations than it should be. A good example is the tag innit, which appears often in British
corpora (Torgerson et al., 2011). This tag, an abbreviation of the variant tag isnt it, is found
to be used with potentially any anchor without any variation, and is such known as an
invariant tag. See, for example, these corpus examples from the Corpus of London Teenage
Language (COLT, Martinez, 2011):
Yeah, yeah. She dropped over, innit?

In which the main anchor should match with a do tag, but is instead paired with an
abbreviated is tag, and
Hes gone home, innit?

Where the auxiliary has is yet again replaced with is.


Invariant tags are a modern development in English (Tottie & Hoffman, 2009), with
canonical tags being made up from what we will more helpfully term variant tags. In many
other languages, however, invariant tags are much more common, particularly in Europe. For
example, Spanish speakers use the tag verdad?, French speakers the phrase nest-ce pas?,
and Germans often say nicht war? for a variety of situations regardless of the declarative
(Allerton, 2009; Bonsignori, 2007). We have also mentioned the use of invariant tags in
Korean. The developments of similar forms in English, then, are potentially of great interest,
and we will return to them after further defining tag questions.
2.3. Functions of Tag Questions
In describing tag questions we have covered their main forms and variances, but we have yet
to describe the main functions of tag questions. At first blush this appears a simple task, but
there may be more to it than meets the eye. Given the right context, any given tag question
may effectively be multi-functional. In order to identify the function of tag questions it is
essential to assess both the cotext and context surrounding them. This is the position that
Holmes (1983) takes, and which Tottie and Hoffman (2009) support with corpus data.
Indeed, they both maintain that it is usually possible to identify the predominant or primary
function of any particular tag question in a specific social context (p. 45, emphasis added).

In a study investigating tag questions in American and British English (henceforth


AmE and BrE) Tottie and Hoffman (2006) note that tag questions tend to have three main
functions in discourse. The first is epistemic modal tag questions, which include functions
such as seeking information or confirmation, as in our original example of thats a new
watch, isnt it? The speaker normally is not sure of what they are saying. Next, we have
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facilitative tag questions, where the speaker knows what they are saying to be the truth, and
therefore is using the tag to demonstrate their knowledge. Lastly, but most importantly, are
affective tag questions, which are most often found in continued discourse and provide
functions such as expressing opinions or attitudes, challenging someone (often in an
aggressive way), or maintaining engagement with a speaker, which are particularly common
but also relatively easy to both understand and account for (Tottie & Hoffman, 2006). To
summarize with some examples (adapted from Tottie, 2009, p. 359):

Confirmatory tag (speaker is not sure of what s/he says):

Husband: Im gonna try to go walking for a little bit. Its cold outside, isnt
it?
Wife: No, its still pleasant.

Facilitative tag (speaker is sure of the truth of what s/he says):

Teacher: Right its two isnt it?


Pupil: Mm.

Affective tag (emphasizes what speaker says, does not expect involvement or reply):

June: I said I think were gonna have to start still doing what we said, erm,
getting the money beforehand I think. You know its ridiculous isnt it? Well

you dont bleeding know whether them other people turned up do you? Did

your mum take it to let you know?


Geoff: no.

Note that each exchange contains the same tag, isnt it?, but that each has a different function
which can only be understood from the cotext and the context (here shown by the identity of
the speakers).

It is in possible to study the functions of tag questions even further by examining the
relationship between polarity and function, though this is much less common. A study which
demonstrates this technique is Kimps (2006), who used data from the Collins Birmingham
University International Language Database (COBUILD) and COLT corpora to investigate
the function of double positive polarity in tag questions. Having established that other
polarities show a range of functions, Kimps painstakingly reveals that double positive tag
questions have a much greater tendency to be used to affective tags specifically challenging
Thomas Avery 6

the interlocutor. Though there are many nuances that Kimps reveals, including mockery and
contempt, a clear example might be:

Teenager: Get lost. I dont care.


Mother: Oh, were back to the bad attitude, are we?

So far, then, we have been through a relatively deep description of tag questions in
their various forms and functions. We have found some important information, such as the
important function of tag questions as an affective tag, and the existence of an English
invariant tag, all of which could be useful for Korean EFL learners. We have demonstrated
that these patterns are well established in the literature, (e.g. Holmes, 1983), but this
information is just description none of it has been quantified or investigated through
corpora (Tottie && Hoffman, 2006). It is now the quantitative aspect we will turn to,
showing how and where various question tags are spread through the English language.
3. Corpora study of QTs in International Englishes
3.1. Differences between USA and British
Tottie and Hoffman (2006) set out to quantify tag questions in English, and chose to use the
spoken element of the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Longman Spoken American
Corpus (LSAC) as their data. This allowed them to cover the two main traditional forms of
English, Amen and BrE, and show the differences easily. Impressively, they found that tag
questions are around 9 times more common in BrE than they are in AmE, with BrE offering
4,383 occurrences per million words, and AmE only revealing 455 instances. This is a highly

Figure 2 Tag Question Frequency in BrE and AmE (Tottie & Hoffman, 2006)
Thomas Avery 7

significant finding, as those EFL students who are interested in going to the United Kingdom
clearly have much more occasion to learn tag questions well.

They also looked at polarity, which was both languages shared in similar proportions,
with both AmE and BrE showing a large majority of positive-negative tag questions, though
AmE had a higher proportion of negative-positive tags (AmE = 27%, BrE = 17), and BrE
tended to show more examples of challenging tag questions. It was also of note that the
typical choice of operator in the anchor, and pronoun in the tag, revealed differences in usage.
For example, BrE tended to show a higher percentage of have tags, which were put down to
extra use of have got clauses in the UK, which are less common in AmE. This matches with
the AmE tendency to use do tags, which, to contrast the previous point, often match the verb
got.

Another interesting finding from the data was the use of tag questions in different age
brackets. In general they found that older speakers use more canonical tags. Indeed, in the
UK, BrE speakers under the age of 14 used less than 3000 tag questions per million words,
which those 25 and above used around 5000 tag questions per million words. However, even
within this data there was a significant difference between AmE and BrE: British speakers
tend to use the largest number of tags between the ages of 25 and 34, while American English
speakers aged 45-59 years use the most tag questions.

Tottie and Hoffman (2006) proposed that there could be similarly distinguishing
patterns in similar sociolinguistic data such as gender (which Holmes, 1983, using intuition,
predicted), but the corpora available did not include this information. Although the
information above is interesting, Tottie and Hoffman (2006) offer no explanation for the
difference, other than the possibility that it could be to do with the origins of tag questions in
English, which we begin to see in 16th century literature, which really picks up on both
continents in the 18th century, around the time the USA gained its independence from the UK
(Tottie & Hoffman, 2009).

4. Invariant Tag Questions in International Englishes


While the above data is interesting, there has been no account of invariant tag questions,
which we highlighted as of potential importance above. Therefore, following Tottie and
Hoffmans (2006) model of looking at different types of English corpora, we will now look at
how invariant tag questions have appeared, and potentially develop, in English, but
quantifying their appearance in various corpora.
Thomas Avery 8

Another major reason for focusing on many international corpora is the potential role
of foreign languages in defining tag questions and their development. Not only do Tottie and
Hoffman (2009) purport that variant tag questions originated in the interplay between
romantic and Germanic languages in medieval England, but Columbus (2009, see also
Takahashi, 2014) goes some way to suggesting that modern invariant tag questions in English
may originate in language contact. Therefore we will begin discussing invariant tag questions
in an international context, before moving to more homogenous English-speaking countries
to find our answers.
Lastly, we will not present information on invariant tag questions in North America,
partly because the researcher could not find any corpus studies of AmE slang or invariant
tags (beyond a strong preference for the invariant tag right, Allerton, 2009), possibly due to
the relative lack of tag questions in AmE compared to BrE presented in Tottie and Hoffman
(2006), though we consider it highly likely that there are a number of invariant tag forms
either emerging or present in areas of language contact in the USA in particular.
4.1. Asian Englishes
The ICE (International Corpus of English) is well suited to making comparisons between the
uses of English in different countries, as it is divided into subjections, all of which are similar
in content and function. This allowed Takahashi (2014) to compare the use of invariant tag
questions in four Asian countries: India Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. It was
shown that each country uses a mix of indigenous (those which both originate and are used in
a local non-English language) and non-indigenous (those also used in English monolingual
countries) tag questions. I will briefly present the most relevant data here, focusing on
Singapore and Hong Kong English.

The Singapore subsection of the ICE showed the most indigenous tag questions,
covering 47% of data. Within this, the form lah appears the most at 26%, with the non-
indigenous you know and you see appearing about 12% and 11% respectively. Finally, the
indigenous lor appears in 9% of instances. The only of these tag questions to appear with any
significant frequency in AmE or BrE is you know, but not to the extent found here. The
indigenous forms in Singapore are famous for their complexity, which is partly put down to
their origin in multiple languages, including Malay, Cantonese, and Mandarin, all of which
have a place in multilingual Singaporean society (Lim, 2007).
Thomas Avery 9

In Hong Kong, on the other hand, relatively few invariant tags are used (around 20%
of the other countries studied), among which a staggering 93% are non-indigenous. The most
frequent is the tag right? at 40%, followed by you know, okay, and yeah at around 25% each.
This roughly follows the AmE pattern, where right is much more common than it is in BrE
(Allerton, 2009), a trend which may be surprising given Hong Kongs history as a British
colony. Takahashi (2014) makes no explicit connection between any of these elements,
however, merely presenting the data as is. Cheng and Warren (2001), however, find similar
data, and propose that the infrequency of tag questions in Hong Kong English (which they
compare to native speaker English, though the nationality is not revealed) is most likely due
to linguistic transfer or lack of pragmatic proficiency.

4.2. European Englishes


Moving to Europe, Columbus (2009) provides a study on Irish English similar to those above,
comparing the Irish component of the ICE to the English speaking countries shown in
Takahashi (2014). This study provides a more fine-grained approach to the issue,
demonstrating the nature of common invariant tags in Irish such as ar chor and ar bith, both
of which translate roughly to at all, and may result in the Irish tag at all, at all. Moreover, the
frequency of certain invariant tag questions in Irish is far larger than other Englishes, and on
par with the Singapore English (though she fails to account for indigenous tags). Columbus
puts this down to the long history Irish and English share, the contact having caused a larger
range of invariant tag questions to emerge (this is not to say they are more salient than variant
tag questions, which still play a large role in Irish English).
Figure 3 Invariant Tag Counts in the ICE (Columbus, 2009)
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The last major area of invariant tag use is that closest to the researcher, the United
Kingdom. Now that we have seen the ways language contact can affect English tag questions,
we must see how language contact has affected a monolingual English society. BrE has seen
a number of invariant tags emerge in the past few decades, including the rise of right (from
AmE, Allerton, 2009), yeah, ok, and aint it but easily most significant is the invariant tag
innit (Martinez 2011).

In BrE, particularly among the youth, innit is said to have originated in London non-
white culture (Torgersen et al., 2011), and has spread throughout much of Southern England,
though less so in the North (Moore & Podesva, 2009). It is well established in my own
experience and on the internet that the word is generally associated with chav culture, a
demonising label applied to working class youth who are considered both poor and
uneducated (literally, Council House And Violent), though in reality it has spread much
further than this. A quick internet search reveals that certain sources are firmly against the
term as both ungrammatical and from an aesthetic standpoint [] an abomination
(Churchwell, 2011,) while others embrace it as both a ubiquitous and natural development of
British English (Sidebits, 2012).

Given the ubiquity of innit, and its potential as an invariant tag question, the term
deserves a close theoretical inspection. As it has received a lot of attention in the literature
(far more than the Asian and Irish English invariant tags above), an analysis of innit will
allow an in depth insight into the development invariant tag questions in general, and their
usefulness for EFL learners in particular; just because they are frequent and similar to their
L1 does not necessarily make them valuable or desirable for language learners. We now turn,
then, to investigate how exactly innit is used, by whom, and in which situations.
5. The Nature of Invariant Tag Questions as Revealed by Innit
A few notable studies have looked directly at the use of innit in British English. Martinez
(2011), noting the terms origin is London, provides a preliminary study aiming to describe
London teenagers use of slang in two main corpora. First, the COLT is a spoken corpus
compiled in 1993 with 0.5 million words. This was supplemented with the Saarbrcken
Corpus of Spoken English (SCOSE), a smaller (12000 words), but much more recent (2008)
corpus also focused on London teenagers speech, in order to provide enough material to work
with.
Thomas Avery 11

5.1. The Form of Innit


Among many other slang words, Martinez found a range of invariant tags which were not
widespread among the rest of the UKs population. Both variant and invariant tags were
found, but the invariant tags were much more common within the corpora. Importantly, they
did not have any relation to the anchor they follow, apart from when the term happened to
follow an is anchor (which doesnt discount innit as an invariant tag). For example:

1) From the Corpora: Yeah, yeah. She dropped over, innit?


Canonical translation: Yeah, yeah. She dropped over, didnt she?
2) From the Corpora: Hes gone home, innit?
Canonical translation: Hes gone home, hasnt he?
3) From the Corpora: Its good, innit?
Canonical translation: Its good, isnt it?
4) From the Corpora: Saira, youre in my class, innit?
Canonical translation: Saira, youre in my class, arent you?
5) From the Corpora: Its not too bad, innit?
Canonical translation: Its not too bad, is it?
(Corpora examples taken from Martinez, 2011, p. 119, translation provided by the author)
Martinez gives a good description of the phenomenon, and notes that we cannot ignore such
developments as mere trends because of both their extensiveness and grammatical regularity,
but he does not go so far as to explain why this might have occurred, or who this data is
specifically relevant to, our main aim in investigating innit.

5.2. The Functions of Innit


Axelsson (2011) confirms the grammatical form data from the COLT, but also goes further to
review how the literature has shown innit to be used in language. While it clearly has a
function in the same way as many of the variable tag questions it replaces (Confirmatory,
Facilitative and Affective, as per Tottie, 2009, p. 359), the function also extends beyond this.
Indeed, although innit is said to stem from the question isnt it, it is most often used not as a
tag question, but a narrative discourse marker with very little real meaning. We could
compare its function to the short phrase you know, which is frequently added conversationally
not to add meaning, but to express solidarity with an interlocutor and to continue the flow of
a story. The clearest example Axelsson provides is

Gone and spoilt her hair, man. She was so pretty, innit. She was
getting tall, nice blue eyes and then she goes and does that (Erman, 1998,
as cited in Axelsson, 2011, p. 54).
Thomas Avery 12

Another proposal is that such invariant tags depend on the certainty of the speaker, are
used in an attempt to hold the listeners attention, allow continuation a turn (turn holding),
and communicate the speakers expectation of a response (or lack of). Indeed, this is shown
by the tendency of innit to be used turn-medially rather than tagged onto the end; no response
from the hearer is called for or expected (Erman, 1998, as cited in Axelsson, 2011).

5.3. The Ethnography of Innit


There is still more depth to be taken from corpora studies of innit, however. By taking an
ethnographic approach to corpora studies, we can see more clearly which kind of people use
the term innit and in which contexts. Torgerson et al. (2011) used the Linguistic Innovators
Corpus (LIS), which was developed in 2010 for this purpose and contains 1.3 million spoken
words, including detailed information about the identity data behind each item, including age,
sex, and ethnicity.

While defining their terms in a similar way to Martinez (2011), Torgerson et al. (2011)
found a range of invariant tags, including the lexical chunks if you know what I mean and you
get me, but only found three tags to be statistically significant: innit, yeah, and you know.
However, the interesting information was not only the frequency of these invariant tags, but
the difference in the way various groups used the terms.

For example, in London innit was very markedly used by non-white males, with at least
three times as many counts as non-anglo females and white teenagers of both sexes. In the
other direction, non-anglo females were found to utter a far larger amount of ok tags than any
other group. However, while innit also had a fair spread of use in all other groups, those used
by females did not spread as much. These, and other statistics, led the researchers to conclude
that the adoption and use of non canonical language use, particularly that of invariant tags,
originates from the non-anglo male youth living in London.

Torgerson et al. (2011) add one last caveat, stating that while such terms may have a
specific origin, they do not necessarily remain bound within the groups. Indeed, a significant
majority of invariant tags were not used within ethnically homogenous groups, but mostly
during interethnic relations. The BNC corpus also reveals that, of 100 instances of innit, only
14 were used by teenagers (under 18 years old), with 68 used by adults and the remainder
uncertain (Axelsson, 2011). These reports fit with my own experience of innit being not just a
London term, but something that has spread throughout much of Southern England (my
Thomas Avery 13

experience having been on both the South-East and the South-West coasts, each a couple of
hours from London).

6. Discussion
This paper aimed to investigate how tag questions are used in English, and if we can find any
patterns or generalizations which might make both teaching and learning them easier. In
doing this, we gave both a broad and deep overview of tag questions, beginning with a
workable definition and descriptions of the various forms and functions tag questions take.
This level of description will allow me much more authority when teaching tag questions, as I
now better know what my students need to know.

However, this didnt prove to be enough, as we discovered a range of invariant tag


questions which seemed to be of interest. In investigating and describing these tags we gave
an overview of how invariant tags have developed and are used differently in various
language communities, positing that language contact creates different uses of tags in
different communities. We then applied this to British English using a widespread invariant
tag, innit, to demonstrate how such tags develop, their form, their function, and who they are
used by.

To bring this all together, we can see that tag questions can be quite complicated, but
that certain forms are more efficient to learn. For example, we found that positive-negative
tag questions are far more common than any other, and we can therefore suggest that these
might be the best to teach first. This also fits with the Korean pattern we began the essay
with, which was positive-negative.

We were less successful in terms of invariant tag questions, however. While it first
seemed as though these were tied to specific countries, a more in depth analysis of the BrE
invariant tag question, innit, showed us that recently coined invariant tags may make
students English more natural, but that it might associate them with an identity they do not
wish to be associated with. Invariant tags appear to have their origin in working-class non-
anglo communities, with innit gaining cultural acceptance, but still having an association with
chav culture. I doubt that my students want to be associated with a stereotype, however
unjust, of being poor and violent.

That said, there are some other interesting notes to make. Firstly, there is another level
of depth we can go to in corpus studies which isnt mentioned in this paper, as no relevant
Thomas Avery 14

studies could be found. The closest was Moore and Podesva (2009), who recorded 50 hours
of interaction between 40 girls at a British high school, then used corpus analysis and
ethnographic field notes to study the language use of specific language communities in detail.
As this study was in the north of England, there were very few instances of innit found, but
the technique could provide a lot of interesting information about how communities that
language learners do desire to be a part of use language, and may allow us to teach to that
effect. This technique could be particularly useful for English for Specific Purposes classes,
for instance.

Lastly, although it is too early to say, the development of invariant tag questions in
many of the Englishes described here may not be non canonical, but actually a part of a
process of grammaticalisation (Wichmann, 2007). In this process, we normally find discourse
markers which begin with a literal (or informational) meaning, and progress over time to
interpersonal (attitudinal) meaning. It also involves attenuation of form (isnt it becoming
innit, for example), and gradual loss of meaning. The evidence for this is weak as yet, but
following such terms over time could provide an insight into the development of grammar.

Future research could involve corpus study of how EFL learners use tag questions,
and the difficulties they have. This may provide useful generalisation for teaching, though we
should always be wary of overemphasising this at the risk of overlooking some of our
students. It could also be useful to take a more ethnographic approach look at the relationship
of invariable tag questions to identity, as this appears to have a potentially strong connection
and could be provided for by careful, targeted corpus examination. Lastly, it would be
interesting to see if the tentative observations made in this paper do make a difference to how
well EFL learners learn and produce tag questions (see Kim & Lee, 2008).

5240 words.

7. References
Allerton, D. J. (2009). Tag questions. In G. Rohdenburg, & J. Schlter (Eds.)., One
Language, Two Grammars: Differences Between British and American English.
Cambridge University Press.

Axelsson, (2011). Tag Questions in Fiction Dialogue (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from
University of Gothenburg.
Thomas Avery 15

Bonsignori, V. (2007). Tag Questions in English: A Syntactic, Pragmatic and Prosodic


Account (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Universita Di Pisa.

Cameron, D., McAlinden, F., & OLeary, K. (1988). Lakoff in context: the social and
linguistic functions of tag questions. Women in their speech communities, 74-93.

Cheng, W., & Warren, M. (2001). She knows more about Hong Kong than you do isn't it:
tags in Hong Kong conversational English. Journal of pragmatics, 33(9), 1419-1439.

Churchwell, S. (2011, May 9). English: it's a neologism thang, innit. The Guardian. Retrieved
from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/may/09/neologism-thang-
scrabble-abominations

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