semantics workshop

The grammar and pragmatics of interrogatives and their (special) uses

organized by Hans-Martin Gaertner and Beáta Gyuris

invited speaker: Manfred Krifka (Berlin)

time: Saturday, 14 April 2018
place: Rákóczi út 5, 1088 Budapest


Hans-Martin Gaertner & Beáta Gyuris: Introduction
Aritz Irurtzun. Deriving the lack of verbal wh-words from LF legibility conditions [abstract]
Elena Castroviejo. On question tags and confirmation requests [abstract]
Rebecca Woods and Tom Roeper. Non-adult questions in child language: manipulating bias and Questions Under Discussion [abstract]
Maria Biezma, Miriam Butt and Farhat Jabeen. Polar Questions vs Kya Questions in Hindi/Urdu
Bernhard Schwarz and Alexandra Simonenko. Wh-restrictor plurality and question pragmatics [abstract]
Manfred Krifka. Questions in Commitment Spaces
Andreas Haida and Tue Trinh. Questioning and time [abstract]
Alessandra Giorgi and Chiara Dal Farra. Towards an integrated model of adversative questions: the case of Italian ma (but) [abstract]
Andreas Pankau. Why ‘n is not denn – Evidence from Special Questions [abstract]
Josef Bayer. Particles ex-situ in Emphatic Wh-Questions [abstract]


It is well-known that beyond their default association with standard questions acts (Searle 1969), interrogative clauses can be employed for a wide variety of “special” uses. These have been classified, among others, as rhetorical, expository, reflective, surprise-and-disapproval, reprise, exam and quiz questions (cf., e.g., Truckenbrodt 2004). It is also well-known that such special uses can be signaled by special grammatical means − prosody, word order, particles etc. − giving rise to “special interrogatives” in many languages (cf., e.g., Obenauer 2006). Our workshop is intended to bring together researchers interested in contributing to deeper and more systematic descriptions and theoretical modelings of “the grammar and pragmatics of interrogatives and their (special) uses.” Topics that may be addressed at the workshop include but are by no means exhausted by:

  • prosody, e.g., (use-related) shifts/modulations of falling and rising contours
  • lexicon, e.g., the behavior of specialized pronouns like why-like-what
  • morphosyntax, e.g., the structure of clausal peripheries
  • semantics, e.g., the role of standard and non-standard question denotations
  • pragmatics, e.g., the impact of special question acts on commitments
  • typology, e.g., inventories of (interrogative) clause types

We particularly welcome contributions tackling interrelations among the above domains.

  • Obenauer, Hans-Georg. 2006. “Special Interrogatives, Left Periphery, Wh-Doubling, and (Apparently) Optional Elements.” Pp. 247-73 in Romance Language and Linguistic Theory 2004, edited by Jenny Doetjes and Paz González. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Searle, John. 1969. Speech Acts. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 2004. „Zur Strukturbedeutung von Interrogativsätzen.“ Linguistische Berichte 199:313-50.

abstract submission

The same abstract may not be submitted to both the main colloquium and a workshop.

No abstract may be longer than 2 pages (A4 or letter size) with 1in margins, set single spaced in a 12pt font. Abstracts must be anonymous, self references should be avoided. Please make sure that there is no indication of the authors’ identity in the file submitted. (Files uploaded to Easychair are renamed by the system, but a PDF file may contain hidden information about its author or creator.)

You can submit an abstract to the workshop via Easychair:

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 November.