LINGUIST List 12.2545

Fri Oct 12 2001

Books: Syntax/Semantics

Editor for this issue: Richard John Harvey <>

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  1. Christine Sosa, Syntax/Semantics: Interrogative Investigations

Message 1: Syntax/Semantics: Interrogative Investigations

Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 11:34:29 -0700
From: Christine Sosa <>
Subject: Syntax/Semantics: Interrogative Investigations

CSLI Publications is pleased to announce the availability of:

INTERROGATIVES; Jonathan Ginzburg (King's College) and Ivan A. Sag 
(Stanford University); paper ISBN: 1-57586-278-6, $30.00, cloth ISBN: 
1-57586-277-8, $65.00, 461 pages. CSLI Publications 2001. , email:

To order this book, contact The University of Chicago Press. Call 
their toll free order number 1-800-621-2736 (U.S. & Canada only) or 
order online at (use the search 
feature to locate the book, then order).

Book description:
Interrogative constructions are the linguistic forms by which
questions are expressed. Their analysis is of great interest to
linguists as well as to computer scientists, human-computer interface
designers, and philosophers. Interrogative constructions have played a
central role in the development of modern syntactic theory.
Nonetheless, most syntactic work to date has taken place quite
separately from formal semantic and pragmatic work on interrogatives.
Although there has by now been a significant amount of work on
interrogatives across a variety of languages, there exist few
syntactic and semantic treatments that provide a comprehensive account
of a wide range of interrogative constructions and uses in a single
language. This book closes the gap in research on this subject. By
developing the frameworks of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and
Situation Semantics, the authors provide an account that rigorously
integrates syntactic, semantic, and contextual dimensions of
interrogatives. The challenge of providing exhaustive coverage of the
interrogative constructions of English, including various
constructions that occur solely in dialogue interaction, leads to new
insights about a variety of contentious theoretical issues. These
include matters of semantic ontology, the quantificational status of
wh-phrases, the semantic effect of wh-fronting, the status of
constructions in grammatical theory, the integration of illocutionary
information in the grammar, and the nature of ellipsis resolution in
dialogue. The account is stated with sufficient rigor to enable
reasonably direct computational implementation.
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Monday, July 23, 2001