Chapter

Interrogatives

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume I

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608317
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732034 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608317.003.0005
Interrogatives

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Interrogative is a mood, a secondary category of the functional category of finiteness. Different kinds of interrogative structure are described in terms of the framework of Chapter 3. These include alternative questions, argument questions (wh- in English), re-opened questions, which question an answer or a question, proxy questions, allowing predicators to be questioned, and so-called ‘indirect questions’. The form of these is determined by the meaning of interrogative, so that they involve either a structure whose truth value is open or an argument or predicator that is open. A localist account of truth is offered and its place in relation to finiteness is described. ‘Indirect questions’, whose construction does not appear in main clauses, are regarded as demoted to non-finite. The role of phonology in the expression of interrogatives is described and emphasized. Notionally and lexically based interrogative representations involving argument sharing need not appeal to structural mutation or empty categories.

Keywords: interrogatives; mood; finiteness; ‘indirect questions’; truth and localism; argument-sharing; structural mutation; empty categories

Chapter.  16498 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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