Talk of interest on 11/10: Linguistics Colloquium with Rajesh Bhatt (UMass Amherst)

The Linguistics Colloquium Series is having a talk by Rajesh Bhatt (UMass Amherst) on Friday, Nov. 10th, in Oak 112, at 4:00pm.

Polar Questions, Selection and Disjunction: clues from Hindi-Urdu ‘kyaa’
[joint work with Veneeta Dayal, Rutgers]

Hindi-Urdu has an optional marker `kyaa’ that appears in polar and alternative questions. We delineate its properties distinguishing it from the homophonous thematic `kyaa’ (what); in particular we locate it in ForceP.  We demonstrate that its distribution in embedded environments is similar to that of embedded inversion in English.

We show that its interaction with disjunctive questions (alternative or polar) supports a treatment of the semantics of polar questions as denoting a singleton set {p} rather than the more commonly assumed {p, not p}. Our proposal offers a unified treatment of alternative and polar questions.