Edited by Victoria Camacho-Taboada, Ángel L. Jiménez-Fernández, Javier Martín-González and Mariano Reyes-Tejedor
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 197] 2013
► pp. 175–192
While languages like English have both dislocated and in-situ wh-phrases, but assign different status to the two types of question – ordinary questions or echo questions -, others, like French, take them as possible syntactic variants for ordinary questions. Moreover, the in-situ wh-question in French, in both ordinary question and echo question interpretations, has the same rising intonation, similar to that of a yes/no question. Brazilian Portuguese (BP) is another optional wh-in-situ language, but despite its similarities to French, a crucial difference can be found between the two: (a) French has rising intonation in both ordinary and echo questions, but (b) BP displays falling intonation if the wh-in-situ question is an ordinary question, and rising intonation if the wh-in-situ construction is an echo question.The aim of this article is to propose an analysis for BP wh-in-situ constructions, trying to answer the following questions: (a) how can we account for the differences between French and BP, two languages that have “optional” wh-movement? (b) why does BP have distinct intonation patterns for the two types of wh-in-situ constructions: the echo and the ordinary question?The following are the hypotheses and assumptions that will underlie our analysis:(a) the echo-question in BP, with rising intonation, is the real in-situ case, and the intonation is given by the interrogative silent operator Q ; (b) the ordinary wh-question is a fake in-situ case, with the wh- moving to a sentence internal, or vP-peripheral, FocusP position, in the sense of Belletti’s (2004). The occupation of this internal position by the wh-element assigns falling intonation to the sentence. The nature of the wh-movement explains why wh-in-situ is less restricted in BP than in French.
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