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Bookmark and Share Paper 3443

Maayan Abenina-Adar
41-47 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This empirical investigation shows that in certain contexts, surprise with an embedded whether-interrogative (polar or 'alternative') is in fact acceptable, contrary to a widely accepted judgment reported by Karttunen (1977). The context sensitivity of the judgments suggests that the use of surprise whether-sentences is subject to pragmatic constraints, and it is shown how an existing pragmatic analysis, due to Guerzoni (2007), is readily modified to explain the new judgments.

Published in

Proceedings of the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Richard Stockwell, Maura O'Leary, Zhongshi Xu, and Z.L. Zhou
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00