Logic and Language

Émile Enguehard: A bilateral dynamic semantics for questions and propositions

Speaker: Émile Enguehard
Title: A bilateral dynamic semantics for questions and propositions
Time: 15:00 - 16:30
Location: SP107 F1.15 (ILLC Seminar Room)

In this talk, I will present a theory of question semantics where questions are analyzed as dynamic propositions. The central idea of the theory, as in some earlier proposals, is to make use of the formal similarities between the treatment of wh-indefinites in alternative semantics, and that of regular indefinites in dynamic semantics. The proposed system is also bilateral, and distinguishes positive and negative resolutions of questions. This has certain conceptual advantages, such as allowing for greater parallelism between polar questions and constituent questions than is generally assumed, as well as between questions and declaratives. I will discuss potential applications of the theory to empirical issues such as the analysis of short answers (which I propose to see as dynamic clauses, without assuming ellipsis) or the declarative-like patterns of anaphora resolution in coordinated questions.