A modal interpretation of the logic of interrogation

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 over questions. We suggest a semantic criterion that restricts what natural-language questions can express. We integrate and generalize much previous work on the semantics of questions, including Beck and Sharvit's families of subquestions, non-exhaustive questions, and multi-party conversations.
Keywords natural language semantics  questions  quantification  modal logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10849-005-9012-8
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,215
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Questions in Montague English.Charles L. Hamblin - 1973 - Foundations of Language 10 (1):41-53.
A Flexible Approach to Exhaustivity in Questions.Sigrid Beck & Hotze Rullmann - 1999 - Natural Language Semantics 7 (3):249-298.
Questioning to Resolve Decision Problems.van Rooy Robert - 2003 - Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (6):727-763.
Bilattices and the Semantics of Natural Language Questions.R. Nelken & N. Francez - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):37-64.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
An Incomplete Relevant Modal Logic.Lou Goble - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (1):103-119.
Interpretations of Intuitionist Logic in Non-Normal Modal Logics.Colin Oakes - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (1):47-60.
Modal Logic and Model Theory.Giangiacomo Gerla & Virginia Vaccaro - 1984 - Studia Logica 43 (3):203 - 216.
Which Modal Logic Is the Right One?John P. Burgess - 1999 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 40 (1):81-93.
Bilattices and the Semantics of Natural Language Questions.R. Nelken & N. Francez - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (1):37-64.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

84 ( #61,711 of 2,164,577 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #347,948 of 2,164,577 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums