Article published in:Nonmanuals in Sign Language
Edited by Annika Herrmann and Markus Steinbach
[Benjamins Current Topics 53] 2013
► pp. 7–46
Syntax and prosodic consequences in ASL
Evidence from multiple WH-questions
This study investigates three different multiple wh-question types in American Sign Language (ASL). While the three are strikingly similar, subtle but systematic differences in their prosody make them semantically distinct. I derive these distinctions from their syntax, via extensions of Koopman and Szabolcsi’s (2000) remnant movement and Sportiche’s (1988) stranded movement, and I propose that multiple wh-questions in ASL involve Parallel Merge structures of the kind proposed by Citko (2005). I also present new generalizations to characterize their prosody, whereby A-bar movement gives rise to prosodic breaks and ‘prosodic resets’.
Published online: 20 June 2013