Weird questions. Interrogative structures in context
Università di Gand (Belgio)
The lesson deals with the prosodic, syntactic and informative characteristics of certain types of interrogative sentences that appear, more or less frequently, in dialogic speech. We will discuss diferent cases; (i) partial interrogative sentence with an interrogative element in a post-verbal position that express different types of focus (mirative and informative); (ii) polar interrogative sentences in which there is an ambiguity about the scope of the focus; (iii) some verbless questions, which cannot be catalogued either as total questions or as partial questions, but which function in context as introducers of discourse topics. Using as a background the studies of syntactic cartography and auto-segmental studies on the intonation of Italian, we will present the syntactic, prosodic and informative characteristics of these interrogative structures, with particular attention to the way they fit into the context of the dialogue in which they occur.