The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Colloquium (11/18) - Wataru Uegaki (University of Edinburgh)

Speaker: Wataru Uegaki (University of Edinburgh)
Time: Friday November 18, 3:30pm, 32-141
Title: Factivity alternation and the ‘missing’ veridical reading of interrogative complements
Abstract: In a number of languages, some clause-embedding predicates exhibit ‘factivity alternation’, i.e., they allow both factive and non-factive interpretations with respect to declarative complements, depending on the choice of the complementation strategy (Lee & Hong 2016, Jeong 2020 on Korean; Özyıldız 2017 on Turkish; Hanink & Bochnak 2017 on Washo; Bondarenko 2020 on Barguzin Buryat). It is furthermore observed in Turkish and Buryat that the same predicates that license factivity alternation nevertheless only allow veridical interpretations of interrogative complements (Bondarenko 2019; Özyıldız 2019). In this talk, I will provide a concrete analysis of a sub-case of the same observation in Japanese. I will argue that non-nominalised declarative complements in Japanese allow a parse as an adjunct while interrogative complements are true arguments of embedding predicates. Together with the assumption that predicates place a presupposition only to its arguments (cf. Bondarenko 2020), we can derive the obligatory veridical interpretation with respect to interrogative complements. I will furthermore discuss implications of the proposal for the cross-linguistic analysis of different types of embedding strategies, as well as for the analysis of the recurring observations in the literature that question-embedding correlates with veridicality (i.e., that question-embedding predicates are typically veridical; Egre 2008; the observation that, although communication predicates readily allow non-veridical interpretation with respect to declarative complements, their interpretation with respect to interrogative complements are—-at least typically—-veridical (Karttunen 1977; Groenendijk & Stokhof 2015; Spector & Egre 2015, a.o.)).