Bias in commitment space semantics: Declarative questions, negated quetions, and question tags

Manfred Krifka


The paper introduces a formal framework for communication that captures not only information that is agreed upon by the interlocutors, but also the possible legal continuations of the communicative exchange. It allows for modeling conjunction, disjunction and denegation of speech acts. Assertions are analyzed as commitments of interlocutors for the truth of propositions. Questions are conversational moves that restrict the legal continuations to assertions by the other participant; this allows for the modeling of questions that restricts continuations to just one assertion. The framework is applied to biased questions, to questions with high and low negation, and to two types of question tags.

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