Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 237-309

First online:

Questions in Dialogue

  • Nicholas AsherAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin
  • , Alex LascaridesAffiliated withCentre for Cognitive Science and HCRC, University of Edinburgh

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In this paper we explore how compositional semantics, discourse structure, and the cognitive states of participants all contribute to pragmatic constraints on answers to questions in dialogue. We synthesise formal semantic theories on questions and answers with techniques for discourse interpretation familiar from computational linguistics, and show how this provides richer constraints on responses in dialogue than either component can achieve alone.