Questions with really like Did Jorge really bring a present?, questions with preposed negation like Doesn't John drink?, and in some contexts even plain questions like Is it raining? convey an epistemic bias of the speaker. Two main approaches to this bias have been discussed in the recent literature: the VERUM approach with the operator VERUM as the key factor, and the Decision Theory approach with utility values. The present paper compares the two approaches and argues that, while utility values are useful for questions in general, the operator VERUM is needed to derive the grammatical and interpretive properties of biased questions.
Proceedings of the 24th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by John Alderete, Chung-hye Han, and Alexei Kochetov
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