Modelling Selectional Super-Flexibility

Kristina Liefke


The selectional flexibility of some attitude verbs (e.g. know, realize, report) between declarative and interrogative complements has been the subject of much recent work in formal semantics. However, little attention has been paid to verbs (e.g. see, remember, observe) that embed an even wider variety of complements (incl. subject-controlled gerundive small clauses and concrete object-denoting DPs). Since the familiar types of some of these complements resist an embedding in the type for questions [= sets of propositions], these verbs challenge Theiler, Roelofsen & Aloni’s (2018) uniform interpretation strategy for the complements of responsive verbs. My paper answers this challenge by uniformly interpreting the different complements of selectionally super-flexible verbs like remember in a generalized type for questions, viz. as parametrized centered questions. It shows that the resulting semantics captures the intuitive entailment pattern of these verbs.

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