Multiple accent in alternative questions

  • Erlinde Meertens
  • Sophie Egger
  • Maribel Romero


Alternative Questions (AltQs) are typically characterized by two prosodic cues: a final falling boundary tone and a pitch accent on each disjunct. Recent accounts in the literature have taken the final fall as the central surface cue for AltQ interpretation or have assigned a vacuous semantic contribution to the multiple accent on the disjuncts. Based on data from English and Turkish, we argue that both cues are equally important and require modelling in a unified account of AltQs. Combining ingredients from the literature (Roberts, 1996; Biezma, 2009; Westera, 2017), we propose that, essentially, the multiple accent shapes the Question under Discussion (QUD) and that the final fall, or the lack thereof, indicates restrictions on the content of the QUD via (un)satisfaction of Attention Maxims.
How to Cite
Meertens, E., Egger, S., & Romero, M. (2019). Multiple accent in alternative questions. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 23(2), 179-196.