What is a yes-no question?

Definition

A yes-no question is a question for which an answer of yes or no is acceptable.

In some languages, a yes-no question is formally distinguished by features, such as

  • rising sentence -final intonation
  • a sentence-initial or sentence-final particle
  • verb morphology
  • a difference of word order, such as the placement of the verb closer to the beginning of the sentence than in the declarative sentence, and
  • an interrogative clitic that attaches to the item in the sentence that is being questioned.
Generic
A yes-no question is a kind of
Sources

Elson and Pickett 1988 108

Crystal 1980 294, 387

Lyons 1977b 754

Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 806

Sadock and Zwicky 1985 181–182