The semantics of French continuative rises in SDRT

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In this paper, we examine the status of French <i>major continuative</i> prosodic contours, which are mainly realised as &#64257;nal rises at the boundary of sentences. We show how to substantiate the common intuition that these contours convey &#8216;continuation&#8217;. We report empirical evidence that indicates that native speakers cannot distinguish major continuatives and questions in isolated discourse segments. We then show how to integrate continuatives into a liberal version of Asher&#8217;s SDRT. In essence, we propose that any discourse constituent bearing a major continuative (i) has a default question interpretation when taken in isolation and (ii) constrains attachments at the point where it occurs, when considered in the context of a discourse.


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