Factive islands from necessary blocking

Bernhard Schwarz, David Yoshikazu Oshima, Alexandra Simonenko


Oshima (2007) and Schwarz & Simonenko (2018a) credit the unacceptability
of so-called factive islands to necessary infelicity – the violation of some
or other felicity condition on (wh-)questions in all accessible contexts. We apply
this analysis to new types of factive islands – in wh-questions with if any and in
multiple wh-questions – and argue that they pose challenges for an analysis in terms
of necessary infelicity. We propose that factive islandhood can be understood as
due to necessary blocking: in all accessible contexts where such a question would
otherwise be felicitous, the speaker would have had to use a different, more suitable,
question instead. We show that the necessary blocking analysis applies correctly to
both classic factive islands and to the new types that we have identified.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v29i0.4628

Copyright (c) 2019 Bernhard Schwarz, David Yoshikazu Oshima, Alexandra Simonenko