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Concealed Questions

  • Irene Heim
Part of the Springer Series in Language and Communication book series (SSLAN, volume 6)

Abstract

The use of noun phrases as so-called concealed questions may be a rather marginal phenomenon in natural languages, but it touches quite fundamentally on considerations about the notion of noun phrase scope and its proper role in a formal semantic description of natural language. My main point in this paper is that a theory that handles ordinary noun phrases fails to carry over to concealed questions in a simple straightforward manner. To illustrate this, I will list some inadequacies of an unsophisticated extension of MONTAGUE’S PTQ fragment [8]. I will then offer a choice of two different remedies, neither of which seems to be the ultimate solution, however. Throughout my argumentation, I will completely ignore the fact that there are paraphrase relations between concealed and overt questions which may suggest interpreting the former via the latter. This doesn’t mean that I have any evidence which would rule out that sort of approach, but I do have some practical justification for my neglect. Unless otherwise indicated, I presuppose everything in PTQ, but that is just a matter of convenient presentation.

Keywords

Noun Phrase Relative Clause Phone Number Variable Assignment Individual Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irene Heim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversität of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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