The workshop is concerned with the semantics and pragmatics of questions, question-embedding expressions, and constructions that are sensitive to the questions that are under discussion in a given discourse (e.g. topic and focus markers). Several directions in this area have been explored in recent work and some important progress has been made.
On the one hand, it has been shown that the questions that are under discussion in a given discourse, affect the interpretation of utterances in that discourse more radically than previously assumed. For instance, the interpretation of discourse particles seems to strongly depend on the question under discussion (Beaver & Clark 2008) and even classical phenomena such as presupposition projection have been argued to depend on the question under discussion in a substantial way (Tonhauser, Beaver, Roberts, and Simons 2013).
On the other hand, recent developments in inquisitive semantics (e.g., Ciardelli, Groenendijk & Roelofsen 2013) have led to a new general notion of meaning, which encompasses both informative and inquisitive content in a uniform way. This gives rise to a new perspective on the meaning of inquisitive expressions in natural language, their semantic interaction with connectives and embedding verbs, as well as their role in pragmatics, e.g., in computing quantity implicatures and in determining the focus structure of answers.
The workshop welcomes both theoretical work and empirical case studies that contribute either to these particular lines of research, or more broadly to the semantics and pragmatics of questions and other inquisitive expressions, as well as constructions whose form and/or interpretation depend on the questions under discussion in a given discourse.
The workshop is part of a series of events organized by the DFG Research Network on Questions in Discourse.