Singular which, mention-some, and variable scope uniqueness

Aron Hirsch, Bernhard Schwarz


Singular wh-questions carry a uniqueness presupposition. Dayal (1996) proposed that uniqueness is triggered by an answer operator (ANS), which occurs highest in the question LF, outside the question nucleus. We observe data which we take to show that uniqueness may be triggered at a low scope site, beneath operators which themselves are within the question nucleus. In response to these “low uniqueness” cases, we remove the uniqueness presupposition from ANS, and suggest re-localizing it to the wh itself, which can reconstruct into the question nucleus to take narrow scope. This paves the way for a weakening of ANS previously suggested in Fox (2013) to accommodate mention-some questions.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Aron Hirsch, Bernhard Schwarz