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Even-NPIs in yes/no questions
Elena Guerzoni, 2004, original scientific article

Abstract: It has been a long-standing puzzle that Negative Polarity Items appear to split into two subvarieties when their effect on the interpretation of questions is taken into account: while questions with any and ever can be used as unbiased requests of information, questions with so-called `minimizers', i.e. idioms like lift a finger and the faintest idea, are always biased towards a negative answer (cf. Ladusaw 1979). Focusing on yes/no questions, this paper presents a solution to this puzzle. Specifically it is shown that in virtue of containing even (cf. Heim 1984), minimizers, unlike any, trigger a presupposition, which reduces the set of the possible answers to a question to the singleton containing the negative answer.
Keywords: NPIs, minimizers, polar questions, presupposition, negative bias
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 466; Downloads: 2
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On Karttunen’s "The syntax and semantics of questions"
Elena Guerzoni, 2022, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: Karttunen’s article on the syntax and semantics of questions is a milestone in the truth-conditional compositional semantics of interrogatives and of verbs that embed them. It is the first comprehensive study of the mapping between the syntax and the interpretation of the three different types of questions (polar, constituent and alternative questions) and presents the first semantic analysis of question-embedding verbs (QEVs henceforth) that assumes the same intensions for matrix and embedded interrogatives. This analysis continues to vastly inspire the ongoing research on the properties of questions and QEVs. This chapter illustrates Karttunen’s theory focusing on those formal details that have been the most influential in subsequent literature. In doing so, however, I will take the liberty to suggest a less than literal rendition of these details, in an attempt to make the discussion more accessible to today’s reader. The main departure that I make here from Karttunen’s 1977 is in the formal framework. Whereas Karttunen adopts Montague’s PTQ, here I will expose his ideas in Heim and Kratzer‘s type driven semantics.
Keywords: interrogatives, questions, syntax-semantics interface, compositionality, wh-movement
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 418; Downloads: 4
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Slovenian questions with short wh-movement and the low periphery
Petra Mišmaš, 2017, original scientific article

Keywords: wh-movement, wh-questions, topic phrase, focus phrase, wh-phrase, low periphery Slovenian, syntax, cartography
Published in RUNG: 18.10.2017; Views: 4032; Downloads: 0
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The left periphery of multiple wh-questions in Slovenian
Petra Mišmaš, 2016, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: In this paper I focus on multiple wh-questions in Slovenian and argue for an analysis in which wh-phrases move to the extended left periphery of the sentence. Assuming the Cartographic approach, I consider the order of wh-phrases in Slovenian multiple wh-questions, which was previously described as free, e.g. Golden (1997). While I confirm that the order of wh-phrases in the left periphery is generally free, I show that there are some exceptions, e.g. zakaj ‘why’ and kako ‘how’ tend to precede other wh-phrases. In addition, I show that the order of wh-phrases with respect to focus and topic phrases is free, but that one wh-phrase needs to appear in a clause initial position for a question to get a true wh-question reading. Based on this, I propose that the clause initial wh-phrase moves to the Interrogative Projection, in the sense of Rizzi (2001a), and the remaining wh-phrases to Wh-Projections. Crucially, because wh-movement is not restricted by a requirement on chains, cf. Krapova & Cinque (2005), the order of wh-phrases is free.
Keywords: wh-questions, multiple wh-fronting, left periphery, syntax, cartography, Slovenian
Published in RUNG: 13.12.2016; Views: 4635; Downloads: 0
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