Elicitation Questions in English and Persian Written Texts: A Comparative Study

Janin Jafari


This paper is devoted to a comparative study of ‘Elicitation Questions’ in English and Persian written texts. It examines the feasibility of Tsui’s (1995) model of conversational structure, particularly with respect to different subcategories of ‘Elicitation Questions’ which are basically function-based. To this end, six best-selling story books in English and Persian were chosen. The data gathered were first, subjected to descriptive statistics and then to inferential statistics by using Chi-square test. The findings led to the following conclusions: (1)Tsui’s characterization of the utterance which occurs in the initiating move and elicits an obligatory verbal response as an ‘Elicitation Questions’ regardless of its syntactic form is applicable to the conversational structure of English and Persian story books; (2)Tsui’s classification of ‘Elicitation Questions’ into five subcategories which is basically function-based is proper and workable in English and Persian texts; (3) ‘Elicitation Questions’ in both English and Persian texts were mostly asked for getting Information and Clarification. In English texts, they were asked for Repetition and then Agreement, while in Persian texts these tendencies were reverse. Regarding asking for Commitment and Repetition, they were the least frequent types in English and Persian respectively; (4) the elicited responses are also in accordance with Tsui’s classification of responding moves with reference to the third element of conversation; in most cases no follow-up move was realized.


Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v3n2p34

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: wjel@sciedupress.com