On the Semantics of Wh-Clauses: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

On the Semantics of Wh-Clauses

1st Edition

By Marjorie Boulton


178 pages

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First published in 1994, this book is concerned with certain kinds of wh-clauses, whose interpretations are easily and, the author argues, plausibly rendered by a logicosemantic analysis on which wh-phrases translate as open sentences, that is, as expressions of the semantically interpreted representation which contain free variables. After a review of influential contemporary analyses of the semantics of questions, concentrating on issues related to the truthconditional interpretation of these constructions, the author goes on to analyse logicosemantic similarities between wh-phrases and indefinite NPs. This analysis is extended in chapter V to account for asymmetries between wh-phrases and indefinites, but is preceded by the engagement and refutation of some of the challenges to it. The appendices discuss some peripheral points relating to the central points made by the author which are in need of further study.

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgments; I Introduction; 1 Overview 2 The Lewis/Heim/Kamp Theory 3 Summary Notes; II An Overview of Semantic Analyses of Questions; 1 Introduction 2 Categorical Approaches 3 Embedding Approaches 4 Propositional Approaches 5 Summary Notes; III A Nonquantificational Analysis of Wh-Phrases, I: Parallels Between Wh-Phrases and Indefinites; 1 Introduction 2 The Quantificational Variability of Wh-Phrases 3 Wh-Clauses as Restrictive Terms 4 Deriving the Restrictive Term: Presupposition 5 The Presuppositional Vagueness of clauses-embedding Predicates 6 Recapitulation Notes; IV Exhaustiveness; 1 Introduction 2 (Weak) Exhaustiveness 3 The Domain of Quantification 4 Summary Notes; V A Nonquantificational Analysis of Wh-Phrases II: Asymmetries Between Wh-Phrases and Indefinites; 1 Introduction 2 Data and Generalizations 3 Wh-Movement as a Determinate of Wh-Phrase Quantifiability 4 Nonquantifiable Wh-Phrases 5 Summary Notes; Appendices; A Wh-Phrases as Variables Over Functions B Definiteness and Global Accommodation C Complement If- and Whether-Clauses; Bibliography; Index

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Semantics and Semiology

Semantics and semiology are two of the most important branches of linguistics and have proven to be fecund areas for research. They examine language structures and how they are dictated by both the meanings and forms of communication employed — semantics by focusing on the denotation of words and fixed word combinations, and semiology by studying sign and sign processes. As numerous interrelated fields connect to and sub-disciplines branch off from these major spheres, they are essential to a thorough grounding in linguistics and crucial for further study.

‘Routledge Library Editions: Semantics and Semiology’ collects together wide-ranging works of scholarship that together provide a comprehensive overview of the preceding theoretical landscape, and expand and extend it in numerous directions. A number of interrelated disciplines are also discussed in conjunction with semantics and semiology such as anaphora, pragmatics, syntax, discourse analysis and the philosophy of language. This set reissues 14 books originally published between 1960 to 2000 and will be of interest to students of linguistics and the philosophy of language.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Grammar & Punctuation
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Semantics