Polar questions: intonation only

Simple Clauses - Interrogatives
Yes/no questions distinguished from declaratives by intonation only


Language Feature Status Grammatical Notes Source Created By Etymology Notes General Notes Phylogenetic Code
Cahuilla yes Jane Hill
Cupeño yes Jane Hill
Luiseño no Jane Hill
Serrano no Jane Hill
Kitanemuk no Jane Hill
Kawaiisu yes Jane Hill
Timbisha no Jane Hill
Western Mono no Jane Hill
Chemehuevi no Jane Hill
Southern Paiute no Jane Hill
Southern Ute no Jane Hill
Shoshone no Jane Hill
Comanche no Jane Hill
Idaho Shoshone no Jane Hill
Northern Paiute no Jane Hill
Gabrielino no Jane Hill
Achagua yes Wilson & Levinsohn 1992: 121 Ana Paula Brandao
Resígaro no Polar questions use an interrogative particle. Allin, 1976: 345-346 Aimee Lawrence
Bare yes Aikhenvald, 1995: 46 Ana Paula Brandao
Piapoco yes Galindo, 2002: 271 Aimee Lawrence
Yukuna no Shauer and Shauer, 1978: 18 Aimee Lawrence
Yavitero yes Mosonyi, 1987: p. 64 Aimee Lawrence
Wapishana yes Santos 2006 Ana Paula Brandao, Amanda Meeks
Wayuu yes In the text in Mansen and Mansen (1979), polar questions follow the normal Guajiro VSO order. Mansen & Mansen (1979). Aimee Lawrence
Tariana no Aikhenvald, 2003: 502 Aimee Lawrence
Apurinã yes Facundes, 2000: 536 Aimee Lawrence
Asheninka Apurucayali no Payne 1982:20 Amanda Meeks
Maipure no Zamponi 2003:52 Amanda Meeks
Yanesha' yes Duff-Tripp 1997:183-4 Daniel Valle
Kinikinau yes Souza 2008:130 Daniel Valle
Baure yes "Polar questions can only be distinguished from declarative clauses by the rising intonation at the end of the clause." Danielsen 2007: p370 Mitz Perez
Nanti yes Michael, 2008. p. 389-390 Aimee Lawrence
Paresi no Brandão 2010:13 Daniel Valle
Palikur no Green and Green 1972:19 Daniel Valle
Yine no negative particle Matteson 1965 Daniel Smith
Añun yes Patte 1989:103 Daniel Smith
Bora no Seifart - 2005:69 Amanda Meeks
Makiritare no rising intonation for polar questions is optional Hall 1988: 344 Melody Ann Ross
Makushi yes Polar questions do not have any overt marking other than the intonation. The word order remains the same for declarative clauses. Abbott 1991: 46 Melody Ann Ross
Eñepa no Payne 2012:371-388 Daniel Smith
Pemon no de Armellada 1999: 143 to 149 Shannon Dardis
Guna yes Smith texts Daniel Smith
Naso no Quesada 2000 Daniel Smith
Ika no Frank 1990:6 Daniel Valle
Kogi no info Daniel Valle
Cabecar no Bourland 1976:86 Daniel Valle
Guaymí no info Daniel Valle
Damana no Williams 1993:118-9 Daniel Valle
Sikuani yes de Kondo (Vol.1,2) - 1985; Queixalós - 2000 Amanda Meeks
Macaguan no Intonation is an indication, just not the only one. Buenaventura - 1993:45 Amanda Meeks
Aguaruna no Overall 2007:476-8 Daniel Valle
Northern Emberá no Intonation is used along the polar interrogative suffix Mortensen 1999:13 Daniel Valle Catío
Waorani no Orr et all. 1991:21 Daniel Valle But intonation does distinguish most of these sentences
Ingá no Levinson 1972:260-1 Daniel Valle
Matses yes Fleck:983 Daniel Valle
Mapudungun no Apart from intonation, there may be some question marking Zúñiga 2006, p. 253-61 Daniel Valle
Páez yes Jung:183-4 Daniel Valle
Quechua Ayacuchano no However, intonation can be used along with the quesiton clitic but intonation is not required Parker 1965:92-94 Daniel Valle
Tikuna no Montes 2004b:154 Daniel Valle
Urarina yes A rise on the intonation can be perceived Olawsky:831 Daniel Valle
Waunana yes Sánchez and Castro 1977:65 Daniel Valle
Andoke no Landaburu 1979: 149 Kelsey Neely
Puinave no Giron 2008: p391-392 Mitz Perez, Daniel Valle
Central Aymara yes Huayhua Pari 2001: 296 Shannon Dardis These kinds of yes/no questions express the same thing as what the phrase "I wonder" does in English. They're called confirmative interrogatives by my source.
Kakua no Bolaños fieldnotes Katherine Bolaños
Kaingang no info Silva 2011 Daniel Smith
Minica Witoto yes Minor and Minor 1982. p.69 Christopher Clack
Hup no Epps 2008 Pattie Epps
Nadëb/Roçado dialect yes Weir 1984:108 Katherine Bolaños
Dâw no Martins 2004 Katherine Bolaños
Desano no Miller 1999, p. 8 Amanda Novak
Cubeo no Morse & Maxwell 1999, p. 20 Amanda Novak
Kotiria no Stenzel 2004, p. 381 Amanda Novak
Makuna no Smothermon & Smothermon 1993, p.61 Chris Clack
Koreguaje no Cook & Criswell 1993, p.56 Chris Clack
Barasano no Jones & Jones 1991, p.124 Chris Clack The first person imperatives may function as questions when they occur with rising intonation.
Tanimuca no Strom 1992, p.141 Chris Clack Typically the intonation of a question rises slightly at the end.
Siona no However, polar questions always have lower tone along with the interrogative particle. Wheeler - 1987:160 Amanda Meeks
Tukano no intonation is used, but in addition to -ti marking Ramirez 1997: 143 Kelsey Neely
Yanomami yes Ramirez 1994: 219 Kelsey Neely
Ninam no Goodwin-Gomez, p.62 Kelsey Neely
Sanumá no intonation is identical to declarative intonation. Only difference is the lack of the sentence-final glottal stop found in declaratives Borgman 1990: 66 Kelsey Neely
Surui no info Daniel Valle
Karitiana no Everett 2006:322:3 Daniel Valle
Nheengatu no Cruz 2011 Daniel Smith
Paraguayan Guaraní no Ayala 1996:37-8 Daniel Valle
Aché no info Daniel Valle
Kokama no Vallejos 2010:537 Daniel Smith
Nyangumarta yes done 1
Jingulu yes done 1
Wambaya yes done 1
Bunuba no info done x
Walmajarri no Done-Claire 0
Nyulnyul no done? 0
Warrwa no done 0
Worrorra no info done X
Garrwa yes 78-80 done 1
Gooniyandi no info done x
Warlpiri no info done 0
Bardi yes done-Claire 1
Yugambeh Y?
Yorta Yorta maybe 78, 106 done 1
Yir Yoront Done-Dan
Yindjibarndi yes 163 done-Dan 1
Yidiny yes done-Catherine 1
Yanyuwa yes 23 Done-Austin 1
Yandruwandha yes 67 Done-Dan 1
Yan-nhangu not yet
Yalarnnga no info 57 Done-Dan x
Woiwurrung no info done-Amalia x
Wirangu No 150 done 0
Wemba-Wemba no H 54 done-Amalia 0
Warumungu yes 56 done-Amalia 1
Wangkumara yes 46 done 1
Uradhi No info 381-5 Y x
Paakantyi no info Y-Hannah X
Pitta-Pitta No info Done-Amalia x
Pintupi yes 196-197 done-Hannah 1
Nyungar no info done x
Nhanta yes 135 Done-Hannah 1
Ngiyambaa no 259 Done-Emily 0
Ngayawang No info done-Amalia x
Muruwari yes 209 Done-Dan 1
Mayi-Yapi yes 70 done 1
Martuthunira yes 236 done 1
Marrgany No 339 Done-Amalia 0
Kuuk Thaayorre Yes 482 Done-Amalia 1
Kuku Yalanji yes 195 Done-Jessica 1
Kugu-Nganhcara yes 436 done-Amalia 1
Kaurna No info done-Amalia x
Kalkatungu yes 105 Done-Dan 1
Jaru no info Done-Amalia x
Guugu-Yimidhirr yes 111, 143 Done-Amalia 1
Gureng Gureng no info Done-Amalia x
Gumbaynggirr no 332 done-Amalia 0
Gugu-Badhun yes 152 done-Jessica 1
Yuwaalaraay Yes 59 1
Dyirbal No 122 done-Amalia 0
Duungidjawu yes 108 done 1
Djinang No 159 Done-Amalia 0
Djabugay done
Diyari yes 151 done-Hannah 1
Dharawal maybe 59 done-Hannah w Dhurga) 1
Darkinyung maybe 53 done 1
Bularnu no 95 Done-Austin 0
Biri yes 56 done-Jessica 1
Bidjara-Gungabula yes 46 done-Jessica 1
Batyala no info Done-Amalia x
Arabana no info Done-Dan x
Alyawarr yes 127 done 1
Nyikina no done-Claire 0
Yawuru Y-Claire
Yulparija Yes 44 Done-Amalia 1
Wathawurrung no 84 done 0
Mathi-Mathi no info done-Amalia x
Hunter River and Lake Macquarie no 99 done-Amalia 0
Thanggati yes 71-3 done 1
Katthang no 100 done-Amalia 0
Panyjima yes 203 done 1
Ngarinyeri No 51 done-Amalia 0
Kurrama yes 215 done-Dan 1
Yingkarta yes Done-Claire 1
Githabul No 45 Done-Amalia 0
Gunya No 339 Done-Amalia 0
Kunjen No 58 Done- 0
WesternTorres no FO 128 done 0
Wakaya yes 108 done 1
Yindjilindji no 504 done 0
Bandjalang yes 133 Done-Amalia 1
Ngaatjatjara yes 22 done 1
Arrernte No 301 0
Kokatha Yes 67 1
Karajarri No 278 Done-Amalia 0
Pitjantjatjara Yes Y 10 1
Ritharrngu Yes 56 Done-Amalia 1
Warrgamay Yes 83 Done-Amalia 1
Warluwarra no 871 Done-Amalia 0
Warnman No 54 Done-Amalia 0
Djapu yes 140-1 1
Bilinarra yes done 1
Wiradjuri no info done x
Aghu-Tharnggala Yes 168 Y2 1
Narungga Yes 92 done 1
Tharrkari Yes 5 1
Wajarri Yes 137 1
Warungu yes 2 1
Adnyamathanha Y2
Yagua no Payne and Payne 1990 Daniel Smith
Baniwa no Ramirez 2001 Patience Epps