Two types of higher-order readings of wh-questions
Yimei Xiang
December 2019

Evidence from questions with modals and collective predicates suggests that sometimes wh-questions must be interpreted with higher-order readings. In such readings, questions expect answers naming generalized quantifiers rather than entities. This paper investigates the distribution and derivation of those readings. First, I argue that the generalized quantifiers that can serve as semantic answers to questions are subject to two constraints — Positiveness and Homogeneity. Next, I present two ways to account for a distributional constraint with higher-order readings, that is, questions with a singular-marked or numeral-modified wh-complement admit elided disjunctive answers but not conjunctive answers.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004908
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium
keywords: questions, quantification, generalized quantifiers, free choice, collectivity, noun phrases, number-marking, uniqueness, semantics
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