Wh-fronting in a two-probe system
Hadas Kotek
November 2012
 

The study of wh-movement has distinguished among several types of wh-fronting languages that permit distinct patterns of overt and covert movement, instantiated for example by the Slavic languages, English and German. This paper extends the cross-linguistic typology of multiple questions by arguing that Hebrew instantiates a new kind of wh-fronting language, unlike any that are presently discussed in the literature. It will show that Hebrew distinguishes between two kinds of wh-phrases: those that are headed by a wh-word (wh-headed phrases: what, who, [DP which X], where, how ...) and those that contain a wh-word but are headed by some other element (wh-containing phrases: [NP N of wh], [PP P wh]). The evidence for the existence of two kinds of wh-phrases will come from three sources: superiority, intervention effects and possible readings of the questions. We observe the special status of wh-headed phrases when one occurs structurally lower in a question than a wh-containing phrase. In that case, the wh-headed phrase can be targeted by Agree/Attract operations that ignore the presence of wh-containing phrases in the same structure. The paper develops an account of the sensitivity of interrogative probing operations to the head of the wh-phrase within Q-particle theory. It proposes that the Hebrew Q has an EPP feature which can trigger head-movement of wh to Q and that a wh-probe exists alongside the more familiar Q-probe, and shows how these two modest modifications to the theory can account for the intricate dataset that emerges from the paper, which is otherwise left unexplained.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001429
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: wh-movement, q-particles, multiple questions, superiority, intervention effects, probe-goal relations, hebrew, syntax
previous versions: v2 [December 2011]
v1 [December 2011]
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