On believing and hoping whether

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Aaron Steven White


Theories of clause selection that aim to explain the distribution of interrogative and declarative complement clauses often take as a starting point that predicates like think, believe, hope, and fear are incompatible with interrogative complements. After discussing experimental evidence against the generalizations on which these theories rest, I give corpus evidence that even the core data are faulty: think, believe, hope, and fear are in fact compatible with interrogative complements, suggesting that any theory predicting that they should not be must be jettisoned.

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