ABSTRACT

This paper proposes a new analysis of Intervention Effect, which is thought to occur as a Q-operator cannot properly bind a wh-phrase due to the interference of the so-called interveners. This intervention in binding can be interpreted either syntactically (Huang 1982, Chomsky 1986) or semantically (Beck 2006, Kim 2002, 2006, Wee 2007). I point out that the so-called interveners are neither general focus phrases nor simply quantified components. Previous approaches have missed the point of what kind of properties the interveners share. The interveners induce universal quantifier either in their at-issue proposition or in their presuppositional proposition. This universal quantifier from interveners interacts with an existential quantifier, the correspondence of a wh-phrase in the framework of a set theory of question meaning (Hamblin 1973, Karttunen 1977). This interaction between two quantifiers generates two possible question meanings. However, one of the question meaning is uninterpretable contradicting to the existential presupposition of a wh-question. I argue that Intervention Effect occurs because the 'intervener + wh-phrase' word order, which is alleged to induce Intervention Effect, makes this interaction between universal and existential quantifier possible.

KEYWORD

intervention effect, quantifier scope interaction, question semantics

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