Quantifying into wh-dependencies: Multiple-wh questions and questions with a quantifier
Yimei Xiang
July 2022

Questions with a quantificational subject have readings that seemingly involve quantification into questions (called ‘QiQ’ for short). In particular, in single-wh questions with a universal quantifier, QiQ-readings call for pair-list answers, similar to pair-list readings of multiple-wh questions. This paper unifies the derivation of QiQ-readings and distinguishes QiQ-readings from pair-list readings of multiple-wh questions. I propose that pair-list multiple-wh questions and QiQ-questions both involve a wh-dependency, namely, that the wh-/quantificational subject stands in a functional dependency with the trace of the wh-object. In particular, in a pair-list multiple-wh question, the wh-subject binds into the trace of the wh-object across an identity operator; in a QiQ-question, the quantificational subject binds into the trace of the wh-object across a predication operator. These operations give rise to distinct definedness requirements, which vary with the quantificational force of the wh-/quantificational subject. The proposed analysis explains a contrast in domain exhaustivity between the pair-list readings of multiple-wh questions and questions with a universal quantifier, while also doing justice to the intuitive similarities between these two types of questions. I further propose that the observed QiQ-effect in a QiQ-question is derived by extracting one of the minimal proposition sets that satisfy the aforementioned quantificational predication condition. The values of these sets determine whether the QiQ-reading is available and whether a QiQ-question admits pair-list answers and/or has a choice flavor.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005097
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted by Linguistics and Philosophy
keywords: questions, quantifiers, multiple-wh, pair-list, functionality, uniqueness, domain exhaustivity, quantificational variability, categorial approaches, compositionality, semantics
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