Presupposing questions

  • Mar´ıa Biezma


Utterances like and the parents are where? (declarative word-order, non-fronted wh-words, and a non-echo interpretation) in languages that in principle have obligatory wh-fronting present a challenge. I avoid ad-hoc stipulations by paying attention to the interplay between the semantics of the utterances and their dynamic update. I argue that, in English, such sentences are not interrogatives, but declaratives with vacuous content whose function is to indicate the speaker’s presupposition regarding the question to be answered. This system allows us to make predictions about their interpretation while keeping the semantics true to form.
How to Cite
Biezma, M. (2019). Presupposing questions. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(1), 143-162.