In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford University Press, 2019. Paper abstract bibtex
This survey article discusses two basic issues that semantic theories of questions face. The first is how to conceptualise and formally represent the semantic content of questions. This issue arises in particular because the standard truth-conditional notion of meaning, which has been fruitful in the analysis of declarative statements, is not applicable to questions. The second issue is how questions, when embedded in a declarative statement (e.g., in Bill wonders who called) contribute to the truth-conditional content of that statement. Several ways in which these issues have been addressed in the literature are discussed and compared.