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Professional CommunicationCollaboration between Academics and Practitioners$
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Winnie Cheng and Kenneth C. C. Kong

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099654

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099654.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 17 January 2022

Theoretical Interpretations of Questions and Power Relations

Theoretical Interpretations of Questions and Power Relations

(p.148) (p.149) 9 Theoretical Interpretations of Questions and Power Relations
Professional Communication

Jinjun Wang

Hong Kong University Press

Linguists have recognized questions to be powerful devices in casual conversation as well as in institutional dialogue. In this chapter, three theoretical orientations—social semiotics, social cognition, and psychology—are adapted in discussing power relations and questions. In terms of social semiotics, questions are perceived as social semiotic acts and questioning exhibits solidarity and power. In terms of social cognition and psychology, on the other hand, the question/answer sequence results from a cognitive schema and shared knowledge. Solidarity and power are further conveyed because of how expecting answers aids in bringing about orderliness. A question, however, is able to reveal unequal social status when seen in the context of systemic-functional linguistics. The chapter concentrates mainly on theoretical exploration about power relations and questions through analyzing various data.

Keywords:   social semiotics, social cognition, psychology, power relations, questions, systemic-functional linguistics

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