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Danny Fox Colloquium
April 16, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Trivalent Strong Exhaustivity – towards a uniform semantics for question embedding
Danny Fox, MIT
In this talk I will go over well-known arguments that there are three different interpretive schemas associated with question embedding (weak-exhaustivity, strong-exhaustivity and intermediate-exhaustivity), where each embedding predicate selects for the appropriate schema. Despite these arguments I will propose a uniform semantics based on the assumption that the answer to a question is a trivalent proposition (the denotation of a cleft). The answer will be “strongly exhaustive” but presuppositional, hence Trivalent Strong Exhaustivity. Different results will follow for the different embedding contexts based on independent differences in presupposition projection. If there will be time, I will also explain how the approach might account for restrictions on question embedding, veridicality and maximality effects.
Based on a recent paper – Pointwise Exhaustification and the Semantics of Question Embedding