Short answers as tests: A post-suppositional view on wh-questions and answers
Linmin Zhang
May 2023

This paper explores a post-suppositional view on wh-questions and their answers with dynamic semantics. I propose a unified treatment of items like modified numerals, focus items, and wh-items: they introduce a discourse referent (dref) in a non-deterministic way and then impose definiteness tests in a delayed, post-suppositional manner at the sentential level. Thus, by asking a question like ‘who smiled’, we get the (maximally informative) dref ‘the one(s) who smiled’. An answer like ‘Mary and Max’ is considered another post-suppositional test, checking whether the dref ‘the one(s) who smiled’ is identical to (or includes) the sum Mary⊕Max. I analyze various question-related phenomena to see how far this proposal can go.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007300
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: InqBnB4
keywords: wh-questions, dynamic semantics, post-suppositions, semantics
Downloaded:170 times


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