, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 443-478,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Mar 2012

Interpreting concealed questions

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.