A uniform semantics for embedded interrogatives: an answer, not necessarily the answer

Synthese 192 (6):1729-1784 (2015)

Authors
Benjamin Spector
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abstract
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”. We show that this rule allows us to derive veridical and non-veridical readings of embedded questions, depending on whether the embedding verb is veridical or not, and provide novel empirical evidence supporting the generalization. We then enrich our basic proposal to account for the presuppositions induced by the embedding verbs, as well as for the generation of intermediate exhaustive readings of embedded questions
Keywords Questions  Interrogative semantics  Embedded questions   Presupposition  Exhaustivity  Attitude predicates  Knowledge  Factivity   Veridicality
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0722-4
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
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.
Inquisitive Logic.Ivano Ciardelli & Floris Roelofsen - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1):55-94.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Infallibilism and Easy Counter-Examples.Alex Davies - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (4):475-499.

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