University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Speech Act Phrase is proposed by Speas and Tenny (2003) as a projection hosting discourse roles such as Speaker and Hearer. Miyagawa (2012) argues for its existence by looking at Japanese WH-questions. His proposal is that the politeness marker motivates the presence of Hearer, which is necessary in information-seeking questions. In this paper, I deal with conjectural questions, which do not require the presence of Hearer, and argue for the relevance of Speaker to them. In particular, I examine the behavior of yara-conjectural questions and daroo ka-conjectural questions. I suggest that they contain a modal projection, whose Spec hosts a Point-of-View operator, whose value is determined by the closest c-commanding sentient element. In conjectural questions, Speaker is the only relevant c-commander, since they are typically uttered in soliloquy. I also consider polite versions of such questions, which involve Hearer. Despite the presence of Hearer, which is due to the presence of a politeness marker, the conjectural question interpretation is allowed in these questions. This is, I argue, because in these questions, unlike in information-seeking questions, Hearer is positioned lower than CP, which makes Speaker the only sentient c-commander of the Point-of-View operator. This analysis can be applied to cover the pattern of Jussive clauses as well.