Wh-the-hell as a polarity-insensitive, speaker-oriented domain restrictor

Joshua Robert Martin


I argue for a reanalysis of "wh-the-hell" questions as restrictions on the domain of alternatives, rather than polarity items or domain extensions. This analysis returns to their original characterization as "aggressively non-D-linked" by specifying what it means to be D-linked, and in doing so captures a number of otherwise unconnected properties of such questions without positing extraneous features. Consequences of the proposal include a new notion of question-specific contextuality, evidence for an inquisitive semantic condition on sluicing, and a potential general discourse restriction on wh-movement.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v30i0.4824

Copyright (c) 2021 Joshua Robert Martin