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Bookmark and Share Paper 3294

A Syntactic Analysis of Rhetorical Questions
Asier Alcázar
32-41 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

Rhetorical questions have been analyzed as pragmatic readings of genuine questions. One view sees rhetorical questions as an assertion of opposite polarity; the other as interrogatives biased in their answer set. A third, less known approach, is to view rhetorical questions as syntactically different from genuine questions. This paper provides morphosyntactic evidence for this third option from Basque corpus data. In Basque certain readings of rhetorical questions are marked with mirative morphemes. The relationship between rhetorical questions and mirativity is proposed to follow from deictic features in the syntax of rhetorical questions.

Published in

Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
Table of contents
Printed edition: $410.00