In this talk I argue that the difference in interpretation between disjunctive polar questions (PolQs), alternative questions (AltQs) and open disjunctive questions (OpenQs) can be derived via effects of focus marking. This proposal brings out the striking parallel between the prosody of questions with contrastive topics and that of OpenQs and AltQs, and, unlike previous approaches, does not rely on structural differences between AltQs/OpenQs and PolQs. To show how this works out, an account of focus and contrastive topic marking in questions is put forward in which f-marking in questions determines what constitutes a possible answer by signaling what the speaker’s QUD is like. By imposing a congruence condition between f-marked questions and their answers that says that answers not only have to resolve the question, but also the signaled QUD, we predict the right answerhood conditions for AltQs, OpenQs and PolQs.
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