Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Yes-No Question


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.