Picky predicates: why believe doesn’t like interrogative complements, and other puzzles

  • Nadine TheilerEmail author
  • Floris Roelofsen
  • Maria Aloni
Open Access


It is a long-standing puzzle why predicates like believe embed declarative but not interrogative complements (e.g., Bill believes that/*whether Mary left) and why predicates like wonder embed interrogative but not declarative complements (e.g., Bill wonders whether/*that Mary left). This paper shows how the selectional restrictions of a range of predicates (neg-raising predicates like believe, truth-evaluating predicates like be true, inquisitive predicates like wonder, and predicates of dependency like depend on) can be derived from semantic assumptions that can be independently motivated.


Clause-embedding predicates Selectional restrictions Neg-raising 



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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ILLCUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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