Floris Roelofsen will present "An inquisitive perspective on meaning: the case of disjunction" on Thursday, February 21 at 4:00 in Machmer W-27. An abstract follows.
A primary function of language is to allow for the exchange of information through a process of raising and resolving issues. To model this process, it is useful to have a notion of meaning that captures both informative and inquisitive content. This talk presents such a notion of meaning, and illustrates its advantages with respect to the classical, purely informational notion, focusing on the case of disjunction. The first part of the talk shows how the two main existing views on disjunction can be reconciled adopting an inquisitive perspective on meaning. The second part of the talk presents a uniform analysis of disjunctive questions and assertions in English, paying special attention to differences in form (e.g. declarative vs interrogative) and intonation (e.g. final rise vs final fall).