I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but here is far better than my usual territory StackOverflow.
Sometimes to start a conversation or to bring up a subject I ask a question. I ask the question in hopes that they know the answer, I'm not seeking knowledge or an explanation, but instead I'm looking to create a context for the conversation.
An example question might be something as simple as "remember yesterday when we talked about [something we talked about yesterday]?" Obviously I don't expect them to just say "yes, I remember" and that's that. I'm bringing that conversation into mind as the context for this conversation. I imagine it's a question and not a command or a statement because 1) they may not actually remember the the conversation from yesterday and 2) courtesy.
Is there a name or phrase for this kind of question?