Question-embedding and factivity

Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (1):85-125 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Attitude verbs fall in different categories depending on the kind of sentential complements which they can embed. In English, a verb like know takes both declarative and interrogative complements. By contrast, believe takes only declarative complements and wonder takes only interrogative complements. The present paper examines the hypothesis, originally put forward by Hintikka (1975), that the only verbs that can take both that -complements and whether -complements are the factive verbs. I argue that at least one half of the hypothesis is empirically correct, namely that all veridical attitude verbs taking that -complements take whether -complements. I distinguish veridical verbs from factive verbs, and present one way of deriving the generalization. Counterexamples to both directions of the factivity hypothesis are discussed, in particular the case of emotive factive verbs like regret , and the case of non-veridical verbs that licence whether complements, in particular tell, guess, decide and agree . Alternative accounts are discussed along the way, in particular Zuber (1982), Ginzburg (1995) and Saebø (2007).



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,412

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

155 (#102,996)

6 months
17 (#94,842)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Question‐directed attitudes.Jane Friedman - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):145-174.
Mindreading in conversation.Evan Westra & Jennifer Nagel - 2021 - Cognition 210 (C):104618.
Factive and nonfactive mental state attribution.Jennifer Nagel - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (5):525-544.
Hopes, Fears, and Other Grammatical Scarecrows.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):63-105.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Semantics in generative grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Angelika Kratzer.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
The Philosophy of Logical Atomism.Bertrand Russell - 1940 - Open Court. Edited by David Pears.

View all 18 references / Add more references