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Why Do You Ask? – The Function of Questions in Institutional Discourse - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Why Do You Ask?: The Function of Questions in Institutional Discourse

Alice Freed and Susan Ehrlich


This volume is a study of question use in institutional discourse, the first volume of its kind to make questions and questioning the explicit focus of its investigation. It brings together studies that bridge a wide range of institutional settings from traditionally studied contexts such as medicine, law, and the mass media to little‐considered settings such as call centers, new types of counseling environments, and helplines. In the introduction, the editors draw upon the research in the assembled chapters to identify commonalities in the use of questions in a variety of institutions; this i ... More

Keywords: questions, questioning and answering, institutional discourse, ordinary versus institutional talk, medicine, law, mass media, call centers, helplines, service‐related activities

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195306897
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306897.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alice Freed, editor
Montclair State University
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Susan Ehrlich, editor
York University
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