By Hughes, J et al
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For the mid key version of // it was John //, was is a selection from two possibilities, namely “asserting that something was the case”, but it does not imply that it could be otherwise. : 42). When responding to a question, the speaker’s high or mid key choice is viewed as being constrained by the previous speaker’s termination choice. In other words, the selection of termination constrains the next speaker in his/her selection of key. : 86). : 53-58). e. e. concurrence) LOW sets up no particular expectations, and permits choice of high key, mid key or low key (Brazil 1995: 246, 1997: 119) In interrogatives, mid termination imposes no constraint, and low termination does not predict a response, and thus leaving the next speaker to initiate a new topic or for the discourse to come to a close (Brazil 1997: 58).
First, in wh- questions that elicit non-polar information, mid termination projects “expectation of concurrence”, and high termination Chapter 2. : 56), adding an increment of meaning “This is something I want you to give judgment on” (Cauldwell 2007). : 56). Third, in yes/no questions, high termination projects the meaning that adjudication is invited from the hearer, while mid termination seeks concurrence. : 54). : 58). The selection of mid termination projects that the information provided will be received in the way being presented; whereas high termination anticipates a contrastive response and sets up the expectation of a further high-key contribution from the hearer.
High key adds an increment of meaning that “this tone unit has a denial of expectation relations to what has preceded” (Brazil 1997: 75-84; Cauldwell 2007). In the second tone unit in the example, // look // it’s John //, the selection of high key on John is associated with a binary opposition in which one might have expected // it’s Peter //. In addition, the contrasting can involve an existential opposition “between one item and all other available items”, that is, // its’ John // not // it’s x, y, z, etc.