The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LingPhil Reading Group 11/13 - on Romero & Han 2004

Title: Discussion of Romero & Han 2004: On Negative Yes/No Questions
Date and time: Monday November 13, 1-2pm
Location: 7th Floor Seminar room

Preposed negation yes/no (yn)-questions like Doesn’t John drink? necessarily carry the implicature that the speaker thinks John drinks, whereas non-preposed negation yn-questions like Does John not drink? do not necessarily trigger this implicature. Furthermore, preposed negation yn-questions have a reading “double-checking” p and a reading “double-checking” ≠ p, as in Isn’t Jane coming too? and in Isn’t Jane coming either? respectively. We present other yn-questions that raise parallel implicatures and argue that, in all the cases, the presence of an epistemic conversational operator VERUM derives the existence and content of the implicature as well as the p/≠ p-ambiguity.

The discussion will be led by Milica.