What's the name for a part of speech which is not quite rhetorical, but not expected to be answered directly, either? I know the word exists, it refers to greetings such as "How are you" and similar. There's a very specific term for those greetings and I cannot recall it.
It's not perfunctory or pro forma; it very specifically refers to a common query that isn't really a question but a conversation opener. Might be from a specialized field like linguistics.