A note on lexicalizing ‘what’ and ‘who’ in Russian and in Polish
Bartosz Wiland
October 2018

The contrast between the Russian čto and the Polish co ‘what’ is syntactic and reflects the way in which an identical sequence of features in the syntactic representation becomes realized as morphology. Specifically, I argue that this scenario follows from a spell-out mechanism outlined in Starke (2018), where prefix formation, as in the Russian tri-morphemic č-t-o but not in the Polish bi-morphemic c-o, takes place in order to spell out a feature which cannot be spelled out in the mainline derivation. Next, I explore a possibility that the wh-prefix in kto ‘who’, the same form in Russian and Polish, merges with a syntactically different stem than the one present in the lexical items for ‘what’, a scenario more transparently visible on the example of the English wh-at and wh-o.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004243
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 54.4, (2018), 573–604
keywords: wh-pronouns, left branches, spellout, nanosyntax, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [September 2018]
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