Unique Focus

Languages without multiple wh-questions

Marina Stoyanova | University of Frankfurt
ISBN 9789027255068 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027291523 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
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This monograph focuses on an interesting typological property shared by four languages: the ungrammaticality of multiple wh-questions in Irish, Berber, Italian and Somali. It contains a broad discussion of data related to the grammar of wh-questions, a comparative analysis of wh-constructions in the four languages, and a theoretical account for the observed phenomenon. The analysis is based on the minimalist syntax theory as developed by Chomsky since 1995. It takes up the standard assumption that wh-phrases are typical representatives of elements bearing new information, in theoretical terms referred to as information focus. Most importantly, in the languages without multiple wh-questions the information focus is licensed in a unique syntactic position. The basic claim is that languages with unique focus are languages without multiple wh-questions. The analysis makes possible the classification of the languages without multiple wh-questions into the crosslinguistic typology of wh-constructions. Furthermore, this book is a contribution to the better understanding of information structure in natural languages, especially of focusing phenomena.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 123] 2008.  xi, 184 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 10 other publications

Arkadiev, Peter M.
2020. Syntax in morphological guise: Interrogative verbal morphology in Abaza. Linguistic Typology 24:2  pp. 211 ff. DOI logo
Dayal, Veneeta
2017.  Multiple Wh‐ Questions . In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
de Kind, Jasper & Koen Bostoen
2012. The applicative in ciLubà grammar and discourse: A semantic goal analysis. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 30:1  pp. 101 ff. DOI logo
Gračanin‐Yuksek, Martina
2017.  Conjoined Wh ‐Questions . In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Johnson, Meredith & Monica Macaulay
2015. A Monoclausal Analysis of Menominee Wh-Questions. International Journal of American Linguistics 81:3  pp. 337 ff. DOI logo
McDaniel, Dana
2018. Long-distance extraction attraction: A production-based account of an unexpected cross-linguistic structure. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3:1 DOI logo
Menore, Dereje Adane & Shimelis Mazengia Beyene
2022. The focus system in Hadiyya. Topics in Linguistics 23:1  pp. 72 ff. DOI logo
Neagu, Anda
2021. On the acceptability of multiple interrogatives in Italian. Working papers in Applied Linguistics and Linguistics at York 1  pp. 75 ff. DOI logo
You, Eunjung
2016. Parallel Derivation of Spanish Depictive Secondary Predication. Linguistic Inquiry 47:4  pp. 723 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008003420 | Marc record