On the Optionality of Wh-Fronting in a Multiple Wh-Fronting LanguagePetra Mišmaš
, 2015, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: This thesis explores the fact that in Slovenian multiple wh-questions not all wh-phrases have to front. This suggests that multiple wh-movement in Slovenian is optional. The majority of the existing literature on multiple wh-fronting focuses on questions in which all wh-phrases have to move to clause initial positions, I, on the other hand, focus on optionality in multiple wh-questions. I show movement in Slovenian is not avoided because of phonological, syntactic or semantic restrictions that influence other languages (cf. Bošković 2002), and that the Principle of Distinctness (Richards 2010) does not account for all cases of optional multiple wh-fronting in Slovenian.
Three types of multiple wh-questions in Slovenian are determined and analyzed: (i) questions in which all wh-phrases move to clause initial positions (i.e. questions with multiple wh-fronting), (ii) questions in which one wh-phrase has to be moved to a clause initial position and the rest undergo movement to a clause internal position (multiple wh-questions with short movement), (iii) questions in which at least one wh-phrase has to be moved to a clause initial position and the rest stay in situ (multiple wh-questions with wh-in-situ). Crucially, in all three types at least one wh-phrase has to move to a clause initial position for a question to receive a true question reading.
I assume the Cartographic approach and propose an account of multiple wh-fronting in Slovenian in which one wh-phrase has to move to an Interrogative Projection (the clause initial position) in the Left Periphery while the remaining wh-phrases move to Wh-Projections in the Left Periphery, questions in (i), or the Low Periphery, questions in (ii). I propose that wh-phrases with a wh-feature undergo wh-movement, which means that wh-movement is in fact obligatory in Slovenian. In questions of type (iii), wh-phrases that do not undergo movement are in fact bare wh-pronouns, which one also finds in polarity contexts, that are licensed by the interpretable Q+wh-feature located in the Interrogative Projection. Because the bare wh-pronouns do not come with a wh-feature, they do not have to move. I conclude that wh-movement in Slovenian only appears to be optional.
Keywords: multiple wh-fronting, short movement, optionality, Interrogative Projection, Left Periphery, Low Periphery, bare wh-pronouns, wh-in-situ
Published in RUNG: 10.11.2015; Views: 7278; Downloads: 384
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