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Bookmark and Share Paper 2819

Readings of Hebrew Multiple Questions
Hadas Kotek
216-225 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper explores the correlation between the syntax and semantics of Hebrew multiple wh-questions observed in Kotek (ms.). In particular, it was shown that the structure of a multiple question can limit its possible meanings: superiority-obeying questions may have a single-pair reading as well as a pair-list reading. Superiority-violating questions may only have a pair-list reading but not a single-pair reading. Following Fox (2000, ms.), Kotek (ms.) explains this phenomenon using a global economy condition, the Semantically Sensitive version of Shortest Move (SSSM), which blocks a structure from having a certain meaning if the same meaning could be expressed through a simpler structure. This paper presents two challenges to this account: one from predicates which can force one type of reading on the question they embed regardless of its structure, and another from D-linking effects on Hebrew wh-questions using the object marker et. It proposes a new definition of the domain in which the SSSM must apply.

Published in

Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00