Workshop “QUDs and exhaustivity: experiments, computation, and theory”

Anton Benz (ZAS Berlin, SIGames), Edgar Onea (Graz, ExQ)

Time and venue:
25-26 September 2020 to be held virtually

The event will be hosted on Zoom. For an invitation, send an email to or

Invited speakers:
David Beaver (U Texas at Austin), Nicole Gotzner (ZAS, Berlin), Benjamin Spector (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris)

In grammatical theories, exhaustivity inferences are usually linked to two major components: some sort of exhaustivity operator and a set of alternatives. The set of alternatives can be lexically constrained, as in the case of scalar implicatures, but is usually a set of focus-alternatives and thus naturally connected to the Question under Discussion. By definition, at least at the global level, the congruent question is a sub-set of the focus alternatives of a sentence. Hence, exhaustivity can be conceptualized for such cases as completeness of answers to questions. In other cases, however, in embedded environments, it is not obvious whether and how a relevant question under discussion can be found. Thus, the relation between focus alternatives relevant to exhaustification and the question under discussion is not transparent.
In the workshop we wish to bring together pragmatic and grammatical approaches to exhaustivity inferences associated with different constructions: scalar implicatures, clefts, focus constructions, embedded questions, presuppositions, discourse relations etc. Thereby, we assume that the relevance of a set of alternatives and the QUD may be a link between different types of approaches that needs further exploration.


(invited talks: 35 + 25 min; contributed talks: 25 + 15 min; coffee breaks after talks can be used for further in-depth discussions with presenter)

Friday, September 25 2020

Time Event
14:00-15:00 Nicole Gotzner (invited) (ZAS, Berlin)
Gradable adjectives and exhaustivity
15:00-15:40 Yuto Yamazaki and Yoshiki Mori (U Tokio)
Exhaustivity violation and word order variation in German cleft sentences: A QUD-based approach
15:40-16:00 Virtual coffee break
16:00-17:00 Johannes Rothert (U Potsdam)
The Weakly Exhaustive Nature of the German Quantifying Question Particle w-alles ‘wh-all’
16:40-17:00 Virtual coffee break
17:00-18:00 David Blunier and Giorgia Zorzi (U Geneva & UPF Barcelona)
The role of QUD in ellipsis and role shift in Catalan Sign Language
17:40-18:00 Virtual coffee break
18:00-18:40 Jakob Maché (U Lisbon)
Can intonation contours introduce a QUD into discourse?

Saturday, September 26 2020

Time Event
14:00-15:00 Benjamin Spector (invited) (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris)
15:00-15:40 Hitomi Hirayama (Kyushu Institute of Technology)
Non-exhaustivity on QuDs — Contrastive wa in Japanese
15:40-16:00 Virtual coffee break
16:00-16:40 Beata Gyuris (MTA RIL Budapest)
Polar questions, bias and the QUD: a case study of Hungarian
16:40-17:00 Virtual coffee break
17:00-17:40 Ringu Ann Baby (U Hyderabad, CALTS)
QUD; on the meaning of two exclusive particles in Malayalam
17:40-18:00 Virtual coffee break
18:00-19:00 David Beaver (invited) (U Texas at Austin)
Beyond question: a speech act analysis of the properties of conventional implicatures