An Inquisitive Semantics Analysis for Chinese Polar Question Particle

Jeff Lin (NYU)


Inquisitive Semantics (Groenendijk and Roelofsen 2009) provides two operators that serve to modify the inquisitive content of a given proposition. The goal of this paper is to show that the two operators together provide an account for the semantics of the Chinese polar question particle ma, arguing that the ma-particle is the lexical realization of the combination of non-inquisitive and inquisitive operators. It will also be shown that the proposed analysis yields a novel account for the (in-)compatibility of the ma-particle and different types of Chinese questions.