Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 443–478

Interpreting concealed questions

Open AccessResearch Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10988-011-9102-9

Cite this article as:
Aloni, M. & Roelofsen, F. Linguist and Philos (2011) 34: 443. doi:10.1007/s10988-011-9102-9


Concealed questions are determiner phrases that are naturally paraphrased as embedded questions (e.g., John knows the capital of Italy ≈ John knows what the capital of Italy is). This paper offers a novel account of the interpretation of concealed questions, which assumes that an entity-denoting expression α may be type-shifted into an expression ?z.P(α), where P is a contextually determined property, and z ranges over a contextually determined domain of individual concepts. Different resolutions of P and the domain of z yield a wide range of concealed question interpretations, some of which were not noted previously. On the other hand, principled constraints on the resolution process prevent overgeneration.


Concealed questionQuantification under conceptual coverContext-dependence
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© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands