ISBN : 9780199281268

Veneeta Dayal
336 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Oct 2016
Oxford Surveys in Semantics & Pragmatics
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This book synthesizes and integrates 40 years of research on the semantics of questions, and its interface with pragmatics and syntax, conducted within the formal semantics tradition. A wide range of topics are covered, including weak-strong exhaustiveness, maximality, functional answers, single-multiple-trapped list answers, embedding predicates, quantificational variability, concealed questions, weak islands, polar and alternative questions, negative polarity, and non-canonical questions. The literature on this rich set of topics, theoretically diverse and scattered across multiple venues, is often hard to assimilate. Veneeta Dayal, drawing on her own research, brings them together for the first time in a coherent, concise, and well-structured whole. Each chapter begins with a non-technical introduction to the issues discussed; semantically sophisticated accounts are then presented incrementally, with the major points summarized at the end of each section. Written in an accessible style, this book provides both a guide to one of the most vibrant areas of research in natural language and an account of how this area of study is developing. It will be a unique resource for the novice and expert alike, and seeks to appeal to a variety of readers without compromising depth and breadth of coverage.


General preface
1 Introducing questions and answers
2 A theory of questions and answers
3 Exhaustive and non-exhaustive answers
4 Single-pair, pair-list, and functional answers
5 Embedded questions
6 Weak islands and extraction
7 Wh inside islands
8 Focus and alternatives
9 Non-canonical questions

About the author: 

Veneeta Dayal is Professor of Linguistics at Rutgers University, where she has taught semantics since 1990. She principally studies the semantics of natural language and its interface with syntax, typically from a cross-linguistic perspective, with particular focus on wh-constructions, bare nominals, (in)definiteness, genericity, word order, and free choice items. Her work has appeared in Linguistic Inquiry, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, and Natural Language Semantics, and she is the author of Locality in Wh Quantification (Kluwer, 1996).

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