This paper discusses those aspects affecting the interpretation of wh-questions. Although wh-questions normally require exhaustive answers, some wh-questions allow non-exhaustive partial answers. Based on the behavior of the question particle (Q-particle) in Japanese, I support the view that exhaustivity is not a property of the wh-question itself and the choice between exhaustive and partial answers is guided by informativeness in accordance with Gricean maxims. I argue that we must recognize two levels of informativeness: fully informative and informative enough. This distinction is formally indicated in Japanese wh-questions. A wh-question with the Q-particle asks for a fully informative answer and one without the Q-particle for an answer that is informative enough. I show that English lacks a formal means to ask for an answer that is informative enough. The difference between the two languages is attributed to the morphological structure of wh-phrases. Postulating these two levels of informativeness makes it possible to clearly observe more intricate interactions of questions and answers and provide a detailed explanation for the interpretation of various types of wh-questions including wh-questions asking for quantity and multiple wh-questions. The question particle in Japanese clarifies certain issues of exhaustivity in wh-questions. Exhaustivity is a semantic property of answers. The Maxim of Quantity provides principled explanation for interpretation of single wh-questions, degree questions, multiple wh-questions, and wh-questions with quantifiers.
Related Content
Le projet dans les recompositions des politiques de santé mentale
Les politiques psychiatriques et les politiques sociales se rejoignent aujourd’hui autour d’un principe qui consiste à mettre la personne et son projet de vie au centre des interventions dans une perspective de « rétablissement ». L’article interroge la manière dont ce principe est appliqué dans des programmes d’intervention en direction de personnes ayant des troubles psychiques graves. À partir de l’analyse d’une étude de cas, nous tirons des enseignements épistémologiques et politiques quant au rôle de la notion de « projet de vie » dans les recompositions du...


Public Service Interpreting and Translation: Moving Towards a (Virtual) Community of Practice
Après de longues batailles, la traduction et l’interprétation communautaires accèdent enfin au stade de la professionnalisation. Quel que soit le pays où ces activités s’exercent, les mêmes questions se posent : définir la profession, répondre aux besoins des langues minoritaires ou rares, informer les diverses parties impliquées, formaliser la formation, sans oublier les normes de qualité. Actuellement, le financement de la formation des interprètes et traducteurs communautaires n’est pas subventionné, ce qui amène les parties impliquées à travailler différemment. Le...
Parametric variation in subordinate evaluative negation: Korean/Japanese versus others
The main claim of this paper is that a general theory of what has been called “expletive” negation in subordinate clauses should allow for the possibility of it occurring without being licensed by negative predicates, and more crucially that, contrary to the traditional term “expletive”, this type of negation is not semantically void. Thus I propose to term this type of negation Evaluative Negation (EN). I show that EN in Korean and Japanese instantiates this option. The newfound positive context for EN is extremely surprising since it challenges the widely accepted previous assumpt...


Recordability: Resistance and collusion in psychometric interviews with children
Different areas of child welfare work call for psychometric measurement to replace professionals’ judgements with objective numbers. Using data from a national Swedish evaluation of interventions for abused children, the present article investigates child interviewees’ resistance to constraints in psychometric questions. The article contributes to studies of how psychology operates in institutional settings; it looks into the discursive production of the interviewee’s position in the struggle between the principle of recordability and ‘sensitive’ interviewing. ...
Function, Type, and Distribution of Teacher Questions in Dual-Language Preschool Read Alouds
This exploratory study investigated the nature and distribution of dual-language preschool teachers' questions across parallel Spanish- and English-medium read-aloud activities. The notions of comprehensible input (Krashen, 1985) and language output (Swain, 1985), along with a reciprocal interaction model of teaching (Cummins, 2000), guided our understanding of teachers' use of questions to engage students in book-based extended dialogue in each target language. We utilized digital video recordings and field notes to capture the naturally occurring teacher–child interactions of read-aloud...

A Review of William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience" in Persian Translation
All who research and study about William Blake's works more or less know about the nature of his most salient work, Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence . The Songs of Innocence tries to reflect child's innocence and ignorance of worldliness. They focus on childhood happiness and improvisation. Those who work in the field of literary translation are aware of those limitations and bounds which a translator may face with, (sociolinguistic matters, cultural bounds, discourse issues…) none of which will lead us toward rejecting the essence of translator and translation. As Robert F...
Online Interest Groups
This article discusses a 15 month educational innovation project, the objective of which was to investigate the perceptions of health profession students about their participation in a program-wide virtual community gathering space (Clinical Interest Groups) during their online graduate studies. Participants were students in two graduate programs who joined online forum discussions of the Clinical Interest Groups. The project was developed as action research and employed an exploratory, descriptive methodology to generate data from three sources: participant responses to a 15-item Likert ty...

Using Graphic Organizers to Improve Reading Comprehension Skills for the Middle School ESL Students
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” In a modern-day classroom, students are surrounded by visual imagery through textbooks, notice boards, television, videos, or computers. Many middle school classrooms are filled with colorful pictures and photographs. However, it is unclear how – or if - these images impact the middle school ESL students who are developing reading comprehension. The focus of this article is on ESL middle school language learners’ use of these graphics as information organizers while comprehending a passage for main ideas, supporting details, facts, opinions, co...
Temp Cyborgs: Gender, Technology, and Immaterial Labor in Popular Science Fiction Television
This article analyzes three primetime television series: Chuck and Bionic Woman on NBC and Dollhouse on Fox. The narratives and representations in the three programs raise questions about the role of immaterial labor, gender, and technology in contemporary life. Each series articulates and reifies the unequal sexual division of labor around prized technological work. The texts also express the instability of humanity as it becomes ever more intimate with new technology. As cyborgs, the main protagonists are temporary subjects because technology is driven by capital’s need for newer pr...

The Triple Articulation of Media Technologies in Audiovisual Media Consumption
This article departs from the concept of "double articulation" within domestication theory, which views media as both objects and texts. Unfortunately, its empirical application has been problematic because researchers tend to concentrate on the contextual, losing sight of specific meanings of objects and texts. Therefore, we subscribe to the concept of "triple articulation," viewing the immediate sociospatial context of consumption as a specific articulation. Still, the practical relevance of this concept has been questioned. Therefore, we develop and test a methodology that explicitly inc...