Rhetorical questions (RQs), generally considered as questions with an illocutionary force of a strong assertion of opposite polarity, do not show the same pattern in different languages. They behave differently in languages like Japanese, where clause types can be marked by
sentence-final particles, and languages like English, where there is no morphological clausal typing. We point out that previous studies have not provided a principled account for different behaviors of RQs in
English and Japanese, and suggest that those properties apparently unique to RQs should be attributed to the syntactic properties of the two different language types.