Wh-indeterminates in Chuj (Mayan)
Hadas Kotek, Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine
March 2018

This paper investigates the varied uses of wh-words in Chuj, an understudied Mayan language of Guatemala. Cross-linguistically, wh-words are commonly used not only for question-formation but also in a range of other constructions, including in wh-quantification, indefinites, and the formation of relative clauses. In Chuj, we will show that wh-words are used to form indefinites in certain limited environments, universal quantifiers, free choice items, and two kinds of free relatives --- definite free relatives but also typologically rarer indefinite free relatives. We sketch an analysis of each construction, and discuss generalizations concerning their distribution. The varied uses of wh-words in Chuj supports the view that wh-words are used in two capacities: to generate alternatives, and to create a movement/binding relation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003954
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: to appear, Canadian Journal of Linguistics
keywords: wh-words, indeterminates, mayan, wh-questions, wh-quantification, free relatives, semantics, syntax
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