Basque question particles
Implications for a syntax of discourse particles
In this paper, we focus on the syntax of question particles in Basque and provide an account that draws new parallels between the syntactic behavior of discourse particles in Basque and some recent findings that have been reported for the German language, perhaps the most studied language of all when it comes to discourse particles. In particular, after having argued for a syntactic perspective on discourse particles for German, we deal with Basque particles in both wh-questions and polar questions. For wh-questions, we provide evidence for the claim that the particle ote occupies an IP/TP-internal particle position and, when attaching to a wh-element, can serve to form emphatic questions of the type that have also been observed in German. In the context of polar questions, we demonstrate that there are two distinct positions for discourse particles in central and eastern dialects of Basque: one inside the IP/TP-domain and one in the left periphery of the clause. Again, we indicate relevant cross-linguistic parallels, thereby dealing with Basque discourse particles from the perspective of a cross-linguistic syntax of particle elements.
Keywords: Basque, discourse particles, German, questions, syntax
Published online: 04 July 2019
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