A hybrid categorial approach to question composition
Yimei Xiang
December 2019

This paper revisits two fundamental issues in question semantics — what does a question mean, and how is this meaning compositionally derived? Drawing on observations with the distribution of wh-words in questions and free relatives as well as quantificational variability effects in question embedding, I argue that the nominal meanings of short answers must be derivable from question denotations, which therefore calls for a categorial approach to define questions. I provide a novel hybrid categorial approach to compose questions. This approach overcomes the problems with traditional categorial approaches in defining bare wh-indefinites, composing multi-wh questions, and accounting for coordinations of questions.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004178
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Linguistics and Philosophy
keywords: questions, categorial approaches, short answers, quantificational variability, multi-wh questions, question coordinations, free relatives, wh-conditionals, mention-some, wh-indefinites, semantics
previous versions: v4 [December 2019]
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