Denn as a highlighting-sensitive particle

Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):323-362 (2021)
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This paper develops an account of the German discourse particle denn that captures the meaning contribution of this particle in polar questions, wh-questions, and certain conditional antecedents in a unified way. It is shown that the behavior of denn exhibits an asymmetry between polar and wh-interrogatives, which can be captured by treating the particle as sensitive to the property highlighted by its containing clause, in the sense of Roelofsen and Farkas :359–414, 2015). In addition, the paper argues that highlighting-sensitivity should be incorporated in the account of another discourse particle, German überhaupt, and discusses how the proposed account of discourse particle denn may be extended to also cover the use of denn as a causal conjunction.



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Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.John Rogers Searle - 1969 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.

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