In this paper the authors argue that a question and its answer can be encoded as a single clause. Their evidence is based on a construction in American Sign Language which has traditionally been called a "rhetorical question," but which the authors argue is a Clausal Question-Answer Pair (CQA). Using new elicited data, the authors provide syntactic and semantic evidence that the CQA is a single unit that can be embedded within a larger clause and, moreover, that it is comprised of a question and its answer which take the form of an embedded interrogative clause and a typically elided declarative clause.
Proceedings of the 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Natasha Abner and Jason Bishop
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