A unified account of inquisitive and assertive rising declaratives

Daniel Goodhue


Previous work on rising declaratives has argued that some have an inquisitive interpretation similar to polar questions, and that this meaning is intonationally distinguished by a steep final rise to a high boundary tone, while others have an assertive interpretation, similar to assertions of falling declaratives, that has a shallower final rise to a lower, high boundary tone. I demonstrate that this strict form-meaning correlation does not hold because there are inquisitive rising declaratives that have a shallow final rise. I argue for a unified theory of rising declaratives with enough interpretational flexibility to explain these crosscutting patterns.


rising declaratives; biased questions; speech acts; pragmatics; semantics; intonation; prosody

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.5042

Copyright (c) 2021 Daniel Goodhue

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