Startseite

Programm

Änderungen

Arbeitsgruppen

Anmeldung

Photos

Downloads

Unterkunft

Anreise

Lehrerinfoabend

Computerlinguistik

Doktorandenforum

Sponsoren

Verlage

Informationen

AG 14: Information Structure in Non-Assertive Speech Acts

Raum NG 1.731 (Nebengebäude, 1. Obergeschoss)
Donnerstag, 08.03.2012, 10.00 bis 10.30 Uhr

Dieser Text als PDF


Clemens Mayr
Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Alternative semantics and intervention effects

In this talk I discuss intervention effects in German wh-questions (cf. Beck 1996). In such constructions, if a scope-bearing element c-commands a whelement (e.g. a wh-in-situ element), unacceptability results – that is, the question cannot be interpreted. I show that a purely syntactic analysis of such facts cannot be correct, because it would not predict the data in full generality: the correct empirical generalization must make reference to semantic properties such as monotonicity. In line with the topic of the workshop I will discuss two recent approaches to intervention effects making reference to notions relevant for information structure. First, I show that a theory arguing that problematic interveners are those elements that cannot be interpreted as topics cannot be entirely correct for the German data. Second, I discuss two recent approaches both crucially relying on an alternative semantics along the lines of Rooth (1985): Beck (2006) and Mayr (2011). Following the latter analysis, I show that an alternative semantics alone is not sufficient to explain the contrast between acceptable and unacceptable wh-questions. Rather the alternative-based account must be accompanied by a semantic/pragmatic theory of answerhood, following essentially Groenendijk and Stokhof’s 1984 insights. In a nutshell, a question with a problematic intervener cannot be guaranteed to be successfully answerable. Finally, I will discuss the relation of such a view to recent analyses of negative-islands based on the idea these are also not answerable either.

Beck, Sigrid (1996): Quantified structures as barriers for LF movement. In: Natural Language Semantics 4, 1–56.

Beck, Sigrid (2006): Intervention effects follow from focus interpretation. In: Natural Language Semantics 14, 1–56.

Groenendijk, Jeroen & Martin Stokhof (1984): Studies on the Semantics of Questions and the Pragmatics of Answers. Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, PhD thesis.

Mayr, Clemens (2011): Intervention effects and semantic answers. Berlin, ZAS, Ms.

Rooth, Mats (1985): Association with Focus, Amherst, University of Massachusetts, PhD thesis.




letztes Update: 18.01.2012
by Webmaster - Impressum