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ERIC Number: ED085777
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1972-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Rhetorical Question: Its Perception by Listeners.
Benjamin, Robert L.
A rhetorical question is an interrogative statement made under circumstances indicating that the speaker or writer does not seek a reply. It is used as a persuasive device or occasionally as a transitional phrase, but there has been little attention paid to the manner in which listeners perceive or categorize rhetorical questions. In an experimental study, subject listeners were asked to identify statements in a speech that were actual declarative assertions, although some of the statements were enunciated as rhetorical questions. Results indicated that listeners who heard a speaker's rhetorical questions in an argumentative context generally perceived the test utterances as statements rather than rhetorical questions. Because of new methods of transformational grammar now being taught, it is possible that future generations will be more sophisticated in their responses to rhetorical questions than those educated in the traditional grammar which is based on structural and functional classification of sentences. (RN)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A