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Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Die funksies en toepassings van retoriese vrae

Truida van der Merwe

Abstract


The functions and applications of rhetorical questions. Rhetorical questions are used in spoken and written language in formal and informal contexts and are applied in various functions in many areas of modern society, for example in political speeches, didactic situations, in everyday speech in the media and in literature. They are for instance used in expressive function to accentuate, to persuade and to express emotions. They could also make a valuable contribution in the structural building up of a text and to obtain special stylistic effects. Their most prominent features perhaps are that they are used in an indirect way to promote the forming of opinion, to stimulate argumentation and to bring about variation in style. In spite of their indirect character, they are generating a more personal interaction between speaker and listener than communication in straightforward statements.



Retoriese vrae het verskillende, uiteenlopende funksies op verskillende toepassingsgebiede in die samelewing. Dit kan byvoorbeeld in ekspressiewe funksie aangewend word ter be- klemtoning, ter oorreding en ter uiting van emosies. Hierdie soort vrae kom voor in mondelinge kommunikasie (bv. toesprake, didaktiese redevoering en gemoedelike gesprekvoering) en geskrewe taal (bv. in die media en die letterkunde). Die retoriese vraag is veral van besondere belang as organi-seringsmeganisme en stylmiddel in tekste en die vorm daarvan kan gemanipuleer word vir verskillende stilistiese doeleindes. Die waarde van die retoriese vraag lê veral daarin dat dit, ten spyte van sy indirekte aard, selfstandige meningsvorming en argumentasie stimuleer, bevorderlik is vir interaksie tussen vraagsteller en ontvanger en dat dit treffende afwisseling bied op stelsinne.


(S/ern Af Linguistics & Applied Language Stud: 2000 18(1-4): 45-58)



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