Chapter published in:The Copy Theory of Movement
Edited by Norbert Corver and Jairo Nunes
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 107] 2007
► pp. 249–287
Variable pronunciation sites and types of wh-in-situ
Examining data from Coptic Egyptian, the last descendant of the Ancient Egyptian language, this chapter argues for a new type of wh-in-situ, in which the copy privileged for phonological realization is the lowest member of the wh-chain, while the head of the chain as well as the intermediate copies are left unpronounced. Coptic can be described as a wh-in-situ language in which wh-clefting and wh-fronting are available as marked wh-interrogative strategies. The wh-insitu pattern is marked morphologically by “relative tenses”, so called because a relative marker appears in front of the tense-aspect-mood inflection. Based on their parallelism in scope and interpretation, the chapter argues that wh-in-situ and wh-fronting structures in Coptic are both derived by applications of wh-movement in the narrow syntax, before Spell-Out. Under this perspective, Coptic relative tenses are interpreted as a morphological instantiation of “wh-agreement”. It is proposed that the simultaneous pronunciation of the topmost wh-copy and the relative marker are prohibited by an economy filter on the morpho-syntactic encoding of wh-dependencies, which is reminiscent of the “Doubly-filled Comp” Filter in English. Deletion of the wh-element or the relative marker is then what yields the apparent distinction between wh-movement and wh-in situ constructions at the surface. Lower copy pronunciation of wh-elements is of particular theoretical interest, since it shows that the PF wing of the grammar permits the same range of realization sites for wh-chains at LF (Bošković and Nunes, this volume).
Published online: 27 June 2007
Cited by 1 other publications
Deal, Amy Rose
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 21 june 2021. 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.