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Original mission statement

In inquisitive semantics, the semantic content of a sentence is not identified with its informative content. Sentences are interpreted in such a way that they can both embody data and issues. And even if a sentence is of a purely informative nature, the semantics will relate it to an issue.

The notion of meaning embodied in inquisitive semantics directly reflects that the primary use of language is communication in dialogue, the exchange of information in a cooperative dynamic process of raising and resolving issues. 

The way in which inquisitive semantics enriches the notion of meaningwill change our perspective on logic. In the logic that comes with the semantics, the central notion is the notion of compliance. Compliance is concerned with what the utterance of a sentence contributes to a conversation, how it is related to what was said before. Like the standard logical notion of entailment rules the validity of argumentation, the logical notion of compliance rules the coherence of dialogue.

The way in which inquisitive semantics enriches the notion of meaning will also change our perspective on pragmatics. 

The main objective of Gricean pragmatics is to explain aspects of interpretation which are not directly dictated by semantic content, in terms of general features of rational human behaviour. Since inquisitive semantics changes the notion of semantic content, pragmatics will change with it.

At the heart of Gricean pragmatics is the Cooperation Principle, dividedin the Maxims of Quality, Quantity, Relation, and Manner. Conversational implicatures are conclusions one can draw from the utterance of a sentence in a conversation, on the basis of the assumption that the principle and its subsidiary maxims are adhered to.

In inquisitive pragmatics, compliance is the logical twin of the Maxim of Relation. Quality and Quantity will not just involve informativeness, butinquisitiveness as well. This applies also to the derivation of conversational implicatures.