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  1. Exhaustivity in Questions with Non-Factives.Nathan Klinedinst - manuscript
    This paper is concerned with the conditions under which a person can be said to have told someone or predicted (the answer to a question like) ‘who came’.
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  • Pluralities of Questions.S. Beck - 2002 - Journal of Semantics 19 (2):105-157.
    This paper proposes a novel semantic analysis of the quantificational variability data discovered by Berman (1991). We suggest that the adverb of quantification in those data quantifies over semantic questions. Its domain is a division of the original question into subquestions, where a legitimate division into subquestions is one in which each member contributes towards the answer to the original question, and together the answers to all subquestions provide the complete answer to the original question. Thus the question itself is (...)
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  • Presuppositional and Negative Islands: A Semantic Account. [REVIEW]Márta Abrusán - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (3):257-321.
    This paper proposes a new explanation for the oddness of presuppositional and negative islands, as well as the puzzling observation that these islands can be obviated by certain quantificational elements. The proposal rests on two independently motivated assumptions: (i) the idea that the domain of manners contains contraries and (ii) the notion that degree expressions range over intervals. It is argued that, given these natural assumptions, presuppositional and negative islands are predicted to lead to a presupposition failure in any context.
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 21.Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.) - 2018 - Semantics Archives.
    The present volume contains a collection of papers presented at the 21st annual meeting “Sinn und Bedeutung” of the Gesellschaft fur Semantik, which was held at the University of Edinburgh on September 4th–6th, 2016. The Sinn und Bedeutung conferences are one of the leading international venues for research in formal semantics.
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  • Perspectival Plurality, Relativism, and Multiple Indexing.Dan Zeman - 2018 - In Rob Truswell, Chris Cummins, Caroline Heycock, Brian Rabern & Hannah Rohde (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21, Vol. 2. Semantics Archives. pp. 1353-1370.
    In this paper I focus on a recently discussed phenomenon illustrated by sentences containing predicates of taste: the phenomenon of " perspectival plurality " , whereby sentences containing two or more predicates of taste have readings according to which each predicate pertains to a different perspective. This phenomenon has been shown to be problematic for (at least certain versions of) relativism. My main aim is to further the discussion by showing that the phenomenon extends to other perspectival expressions than predicates (...)
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  • Antonymy In Space And Other Strictly Ordered Domains.Jessica Rett - 2015 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 10 (1).
    Natural language references different types of entities. Some of these entities are strictly ordered with respect to one another; others are not. The empirical goal of this paper is to show that some linguistically encoded relations across these domains display a polar asymmetry, while others do not. The theoretical goal of this paper is to argue that this asymmetry – and its restriction to only certain relations – is due to intrinsic properties of strictly ordered domains, coupled with a bias (...)
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  • The Universal Density of Measurement.Danny Fox & Martin Hackl - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586.
    The notion of measurement plays a central role in human cognition. We measure people’s height, the weight of physical objects, the length of stretches of time, or the size of various collections of individuals. Measurements of height, weight, and the like are commonly thought of as mappings between objects and dense scales, while measurements of collections of individuals, as implemented for instance in counting, are assumed to involve discrete scales. It is also commonly assumed that natural language makes use of (...)
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  • A Uniform Semantics for Declarative and Interrogative Complements.Nadine Theiler, Floris Roelofsen & Maria Aloni - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (3):409-466.
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  • A Question of Strength: On NPIs in Interrogative Clauses. [REVIEW]Yael Sharvit - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):361 - 391.
    We observe that the facts pertaining to the acceptability of negative polarity items (henceforth, NPIs) in interrogative environments are more complex than previously noted. Since Klima [Klima, E. (1964). In J. Fodor & J. Katz (Eds.), The structure of language. Prentice-Hall], it has been typically assumed that NPIs are grammatical in both matrix and embedded questions, however, on closer scrutiny it turns out that there are differences between root and embedded environments, and between question nucleus and wh-restrictor. While NPIs are (...)
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  • Knowledge Wh and False Beliefs: Experimental Investigations.Jonathan Phillips & B. R. George - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (3):467-494.
    A common approach to knowledge wh is to try to reduce it to knowledge that, and in particular to answer-knowledge. On this view, the truth-conditions of a knowledge wh ascription can be given entirely in terms of which answers to the embedded question the subject knows. Against this background, this paper considers the phenomenon of false-belief sensitivity --- a challenge to this common approach to knowledge wh that has recently received a fair amount of attention in the question embedding literature. (...)
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  • Emedded Questions and 'De Dicto' Readings.Yael Sharvit - 2002 - Natural Language Semantics 10 (2):97-123.
    It is argued, contra Beck and Rullmann (1999), and with Heim (1994), that the sources of strongly exhaustive interpretations and `de dicto' interpretations of wh-complements of veridical question-embedding verbs are one and the same. Beck and Rullmann's theory is shown to predict certain `de dicto' readings which do not exist, while a particular rendition of Heim's theory is shown to constrain the generation of `de dicto' readings in the correct way.
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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  • Plurality effects in an exhaustification-based theory of embedded questions.Alexandre Cremers - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (3):193-251.
    Questions embedded under responsive predicates and definite descriptions both give rise to a variety of phenomena which can be grouped under the term plurality effects: quantificational variability, cumulativity, and homogeneity effects. This similarity has not gone unnoticed, and many proposals have taken inspiration in theories of definite plurals to account for these effects with embedded questions. Recently these phenomena have received less attention, as the field has focused on the so-called intermediate exhaustive reading of embedded questions instead, after Spector called (...)
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  • Factive islands and meaning-driven unacceptability.Bernhard Schwarz & Alexandra Simonenko - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (3):253-279.
    It is often proposed that the unacceptability of a semantically interpretable sentence can be rooted in its meaning. Elaborating on Oshima New frontiers in artificial intelligence, Springer, Berlin, 2007), we argue that the meaning-driven unacceptability of factive islands must make reference to felicity conditions, and cannot be reduced to the triviality of propositional content. We also observe, again elaborating on Oshima, that the triviality of factive islands need not be logical, but can be relative to a listener’s background assumptions. These (...)
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  • A Uniform Semantics for Embedded Interrogatives: An Answer, Not Necessarily the Answer.Benjamin Spector & Paul Egré - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1729-1784.
    Our paper addresses the following question: Is there a general characterization, for all predicates P that take both declarative and interrogative complements , of the meaning of the P-interrogative clause construction in terms of the meaning of the P-declarative clause construction? On our account, if P is a responsive predicate and Q a question embedded under P, then the meaning of ‘P + Q’ is, informally, “to be in the relation expressed by P to some potential complete answer to Q”. (...)
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  • A Modal Interpretation of the Logic of Interrogation.Rani Nelken & Chung-Chieh Shan - 2006 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 15 (3):251-271.
    We propose a novel interpretation of natural-language questions using a modal predicate logic of knowledge. Our approach brings standard model-theoretic and proof-theoretic techniques from modal logic to bear on questions. Using the former, we show that our interpretation preserves Groenendijk and Stokhof's answerhood relation, yet allows an extensional interpretation. Using the latter, we get a sound and complete proof procedure for the logic for free. Our approach is more expressive; for example, it easily treats complex questions with operators that scope (...)
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  • Concealed Questions and Specificational Subjects.Maribel Romero - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):687 - 737.
    This paper is concerned with Noun Phrases (NPs, henceforth) occurring in two constructions: concealed question NPs and NP subjects of specificational sentences. The first type of NP is illustrated in (1). The underlined NPs in (1) have been called ‘concealed questions’ because sentences that embed them typically have the same truth-conditional meaning as the corresponding versions with a full-fledged embedded interrogative clause, as illustrated in (2) (Heim 1979).
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  • The *Hope-Wh Puzzle.Wataru Uegaki & Yasutada Sudo - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (4):323-356.
    Clause-embedding predicates come in three major varieties: responsive predicates are compatible with both declarative and interrogative complements; rogative predicates are only compatible with interrogative complements; and anti-rogative predicates are only compatible with declarative complements. It has been suggested that these selectional properties are at least partly semantic in nature. In particular, it has been proposed that the anti-rogativity of neg-raising predicates like believe comes from the triviality in meaning that would arise with interrogative complements. This paper puts forward a similar (...)
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  • Two Problems with the Socio-Relational Critique of Distributive Egalitarianism.Christian Seidel - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico.
    Distributive egalitarians believe that distributive justice is to be explained by the idea of distributive equality (DE) and that DE is of intrinsic value. The socio-relational critique argues that distributive egalitarianism does not account for the “true” value of equality, which rather lies in the idea of “equality as a substantive social value” (ESV). This paper examines the socio-relational critique and argues that it fails because – contrary to what the critique presupposes –, first, ESV is not conceptually distinct from (...)
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  • Triviality and Interrogative Embedding: Context Sensitivity, Factivity, and Neg-Raising.Clemens Mayr - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (3):227-278.
    Why do predicates like know embed both declarative and interrogative clauses, whereas closely related ones like believe only embed the former? The standard approach following Grimshaw to this issue has been to specify lexically for each predicate which type of complement clause it can combine with. This view is challenged by predicates such as be certain, which embed interrogative clauses only in certain contexts. To deal with this issue, this paper proposes a novel, unified semantics for declarative and interrogative embedding (...)
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  • A Psycholinguistic Study of the Exhaustive Readings of Embedded Questions.Alexandre Cremers & Emmanuel Chemla - 2016 - Journal of Semantics 33 (1):49-85.
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  • Direct Vs. Indirect Disjunction of Wh-Complements, as Diagnosed by Subordinating Complementizers (2016).Anna Szabolcsi - manuscript
    Since the early 1980s, there has been a debate in the semantics literature pertaining to whether wh-interrogatives can be directly disjoined, as main clauses and as complements. Those who held that the direct disjunction of wh-interrogatives was in conflict with certain theoretical considerations proposed that they could be disjoined indirectly. Indirect disjunction proceeds by first lifting both wh-interrogatives and then disjoining them; it assigns matrix-level scope to OR. As we will see, the notorious theoretical need for indirect disjunction has disappeared (...)
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  • (In)Definiteness, Polarity, and the Role of Wh-Morphology in Free Choice.Anastasia Giannakidou & Lisa Cheng - 2006 - Journal of Semantics 23 (2):135-183.
    In this paper we reconsider the issue of free choice and the role of the wh-morphology employed in it. We show that the property of being an interrogative wh-word alone is not sufficient for free choice, and that semantic and sometimes even morphological definiteness is a pre-requisite for some free choice items (FCIs) in certain languages, e.g. in Greek and Mandarin Chinese. We propose a theory that explains the polarity behaviour of FCIs cross-linguistically, and allows indefinite (Giannakidou 2001) as well (...)
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  • Focusing Bound Pronouns.Clemens Mayr - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):299-348.
    The presence of contrastive focus on pronouns interpreted as bound variables is puzzling. Bound variables do not refer, and it is therefore unclear how two of them can be made to contrast with each other. It is argued that this is a problem for both alternative-based accounts such as Rooth’s (Nat Lang Semantics 1:75–116, 1992) and givenness-based ones such as Schwarzschild’s (Nat Lang Semantics 7:141–177, 1999). The present paper shows that previous approaches to this puzzle face an empirical problem, namely (...)
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  • A Semantics for Degree Questions Based on Intervals: Negative Islands and Their Obviation: Articles.M. árta AbrusáN. & Benjamin Spector - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (1):107-147.
    According to the standard analysis of degree questions, the logical form of a degree question contains a variable that ranges over individual degrees and is bound by the degree question operator how. In contrast with this, we claim that the variable bound by the degree question operator how does not range over individual degrees but over intervals of degrees, by analogy with Schwarzschild and Wilkinson's proposal regarding the semantics of comparative clauses. Not only does the interval-based semantics predict the existence (...)
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  • The Algebraic Structure of Amounts: Evidence From Comparatives.Daniel Lassiter - 2010 - In T. Icard & R. Muskens (eds.), Interfaces: Explorations in Logic, Language and Computation. Springer Berlin. pp. 38--56.
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  • Questions with NPIs.Andreea C. Nicolae - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (1):21-76.
    This paper investigates how the distribution of negative polarity items can inform our understanding of the underlying semantic representation of constituent questions. It argues that the distribution of NPIs in questions is governed by the same logical properties that govern their distribution in declarative constructions. Building on an observation due to Guerzoni and Sharvit that strength of exhaustivity in questions correlates with the acceptability of NPIs, I propose a revision of the semantics of questions that can explain this link in (...)
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  • Content Nouns and the Semantics of Question-Embedding.Wataru Uegaki - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics:ffv009.
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  • Alternatives in Different Dimensions: A Case Study of Focus Intervention.Haoze Li & Jess H.-K. Law - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (3):201-245.
    In Beck, focus intervention is used as an argument for reducing Hamblin’s semantics for questions to Rooth’s focus semantics. Drawing on novel empirical evidence from Mandarin and English, we argue that this reduction is unwarranted. Maintaining both Hamblin’s original semantics and Rooth’s focus semantics not only allows for a more adequate account for focus intervention in questions, but also correctly predicts that focus intervention is a very general phenomenon caused by interaction of alternatives in different dimensions.
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  • Ask, and Tell as Well: Question–Answer Clauses in American Sign Language.Ivano Caponigro & Kathryn Davidson - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (4):323-371.
    A construction is found in American Sign Language that we call a Question–Answer Clause. It is made of two parts: the first part looks like an interrogative clause conveying a question, while the second part resembles a declarative clause answering that question. The very same signer has to sign both, the entire construction is interpreted as truth-conditionally equivalent to a declarative sentence, and it can be uttered only under certain discourse conditions. These and other properties of Question–Answer Clauses are discussed, (...)
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  • Can We Agree About Agree?Emmanuel Chemla & B. R. George - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):243-264.
    This squib attempts to constrain semantic theories of agree wh constructions by broadening the data set and collecting naive speakers’ intuitions. Overall, our data suggest relatively permissive truth-conditions for these constructions. They also suggest a previously undiscussed presupposition for agree wh and also indicate that agree wh is not straightforwardly reducible to agree that. Although some accounts suggest differences in truth conditions among different asymmetrical agree with constructions and symmetrical agree constructions, we do not find any indication of such truth-conditional (...)
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  • DegP Scope Revisited.Sigrid Beck - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (3):227-272.
    The semantic literature takes degree operators like the comparative, but also measure phrases, the equative, the superlative and so on, to be quantifiers over degrees. This is well motivated by their semantic contribution, but leads one to expect far more scope interaction than is actually observed. This paper proposes an alternative-semantic analysis of certain degree constructions, in particular constructions with little and other negative antonyms. Restrictions on scope can then be explained as intervention effects.
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  • Which Judgments Show Weak Exhaustivity? (And Which Don't?).B. R. George - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (4):401-427.
    This paper considers two of the most prominent kinds of evidence that have been used to argue that certain embedded questions receive weakly exhaustive interpretations. The first kind is exemplified by judgments of consistency for declarative sentences that attribute knowledge of a wh-question and ignorance of the negation of that question to the same person, and the second concerns asymmetries between the role of positive and negative information in validating question-embedding surprise ascriptions, and similar judgments for other attitudes. I argue (...)
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  • Indeterminate Phrase Quantification in Japanese.Junko Shimoyama - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (2):139-173.
    This paper examines the question of how so-called indeterminate phrases in Japanese (Kuroda 1965) associate with relevant particles higher in the structure. In the universal construction in Japanese, the restrictor (provided by an indeterminate phrase) sometimes appears to be separate from the universal particle mo. It is proposed that quantification at a distance is only apparent, and that the restriction is in fact provided locally by the sister constituent of mo as a whole. The proposal leads us to a straightforward (...)
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  • Experiments on the Acceptability and Possible Readings of Questions Embedded Under Emotive-Factives.Alexandre Cremers & Emmanuel Chemla - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (3):223-261.
    Emotive-factive predicates, such as surprise or be happy, are a source of empirical and theoretical puzzles in the literature on embedded questions. Although they embed wh-questions, they seem not to embed whether-questions. They have complex interactions with negative polarity items such as any or even, and they have been argued to preferentially give rise to weakly exhaustive readings with embedded questions. We offer an empirical overview of the situation in three experiments collecting acceptability judgments, monotonicity judgments, and truth-value judgments. The (...)
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