A hybrid categorial approach of question composition

Yimei Xiang, Rutgers


This talk revisits two fundamental issues in question semantics — what does a question mean, and how is this meaning compositionally derived? Drawn on observations with the distribution of wh-words in questions and free relatives as well as quantificational variability effects in question embeddings, I argue that the nominal meanings of short answers must be derivable from question denotations, which therefore calls for a categorial approach to define questions. I provide a novel hybrid categorial approach to compose questions. This approach overcomes the problems with traditional categorial approaches in defining bare wh-indefinites, composing multi-wh-questions, and coordinating questions.

Related paper: https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004178