Fragment Functional Answers

Yael Sharvit, Jungmin Kang


There are usually two grammatical ways to provide an answer to a question: a full clause reply and a fragment reply. Some fragment replies are well-formed as answers to some types of questions but not to others, and some full clause replies are well-formed as answers to some types of questions but not to others. We account for this fact with a variant of a theory of questions according to which fragment replies are basic semantic answers, and full-clause replies are parasitic on them.

Full Text:



Baker, Carol L. 1970. Notes on the description of English questions: the role of an abstract question morpheme. Foundations of Language 6, 197–217.

Beck, Sigrid and Yael Sharvit. 2002. Pluralities of questions. Journal of Semantics 19, 105–157.

Chierchia, Gennaro. 1993. Questions with quantifiers. Natural Language Semantics 1, 181–234.

Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Dordrecht: Foris.

Comorovski, Ileana. 1996. Interrogative Phrases and the Syntax-Semantics Interface, Kluwer.

Dayal, Veneeta. 1996. Locality in WH-Quantification, Kluwer.

Dayal, Veneeta. 2002. Single-pair vs. multiple-pair answers: wh in-situ and scope. Linguistic Inquiry 33, 512–520.

Doron, Edit. 1982. The syntax and semantics of resumptive pronouns, Texas Linguistics Forum 19, University of Texas, Austin, 1–48.

Engdahl, Elisabet. 1986. Constituent Questions, Reidel.

Ginzburg, Jonathan and Ivan Sag. 2000. Interrogative Investigations: the Form, Meaning and Use of English Interrogatives, CSLI.

Groenendijk, Jeroen and Martin Stokhof. 1984. Studies on the Semantics of Questions and the Pragmatics of Answers, Doctoral dissertation, University of Amsterdam.

Heim, Irene and Angelika Kratzer. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar, Blackwell Publishers.

Jacobson, Pauline. 1994. Binding connectivity in copular sentences, in M. Harvey and L. Santelmann (eds.), Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory IV, Cornell University, Ithaca, 161–178.

Jacobson, Pauline. 1999. Towards a variable-free semantics. Linguistics and Philosophy 22, 117–184.

Jacobson, Pauline. 2016. The short answer: implications for direct compositionality (and vice versa). Language 92.

Kang, Jungmin. 2012. Why short-form functional reading answers are not possible in multiple wh-questions. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 18, 124–130.

Keenan, Edward and Leonard M. Faltz. 1985. Boolean Semantics for Natural Language. Dordrecht: Reidel.

Kotek, Hadas. 2014. Composing Questions, PhD dissertation, MIT.

Krifka, Manfred. 2001a. For a structured-meaning account of questions and answers. In C. Fery & W. Sternefeld (eds.), Audiatur Vox Sapientia. A Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow, Akademie Verlag, 287–319.

Krifka, Manfred. 2001b. Quantifying into question acts. Natural Language Semantics 9, 1–40.

Merchant, Jason. 2004. Fragments and ellipsis. Linguistics and Philosophy 27, 661–738.

Morgan, Jerry. 1973. Sentence fragments and the notion 'sentence'. In B. Kachru, R. Lees, Y. Malkiel, A. Pietrangeli, and S. Saporta (eds.), Issues in Linguistics: Papers in honor of Henry and Renée Kahane, University of Illinois Press, 719-751.

Sharvit, Yael. 1999a. Functional relative clauses. Linguistics and Philosophy 22, 447–478.

Sharvit, Yael. 1999b. Resumptive pronouns in relative clauses. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 17, 587–612.


Copyright (c) 2017 Yael Sharvit, Jungmin Kang