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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Concealed questionQuantification under conceptual coverContext-dependence
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands