Natural Language Semantics 21 (4):401-427 (2013)

B. R. George
Carnegie Mellon University
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 that neither type suffices to show weak exhaustivity. The first can be analyzed in terms of strong exhaustivity in combination with domain restriction effects, while the second can be analyzed in terms of a mention-some interpretation. These kinds of evidence have served as the empirical basis for many claims about weakly exhaustive readings, so the observation that they are unreliable calls into questions a large body of established work on the semantics of question embedding
Keywords Semantics of questions  Exhaustivity  Question embedding
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DOI 10.1007/s11050-013-9098-5
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References found in this work BETA

Syntax and Semantics of Questions.Lauri Karttunen - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1):3--44.
Questions in Montague English.Charles L. Hamblin - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):41-53.
Questions and Answers in Embedded Contexts.Utpal Lahiri - 2001 - Oxford University Press UK.
A Flexible Approach to Exhaustivity in Questions.Sigrid Beck & Hotze Rullmann - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (3):249-298.

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Citations of this work BETA

The *Hope-Wh Puzzle.Wataru Uegaki & Yasutada Sudo - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (4):323-356.
The * hope-wh puzzle.Wataru Uegaki & Yasutada Sudo - 2019 - Natural Language Semantics 27 (4):323-356.

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