Focus, Ellipsis and the Semantics of Alternative Questions
Maribel Romero et Chung-hye Han
This paper argues that alternatives (alt-)questions involve ellipsis and provides a compositional semantics for the proposed structures. Two arguments for ellipsis are presented. First, alt-readings need a particular focus intonation pattern on the disjuncts, comparable to that in other elliptical constructions. Second, alt-readings are lost when we have inverted negation or an extra focus on the polarity; we derive this effect from the interaction of the licensing conditions of focus and ellipsis.