This article describes wh- question formation in Krachi and Bono, two Volta-Comoe languages of the Tano phylum, and considers its typological implications for the genetic relationships among Tano languages. Based on original fieldwork, the paper focuses on four phenomena: main clause wh- in-situ; embedded clause wh- in-situ; partial wh- movement; and island-internal wh- in-situ. Comparing wh- question formation in these languages reveals that in most respects Bono patterns similarly to Krachi, yet in others (e.g. interrogative subject-non subject asymmetries and island-internal wh- in-situ distribution) it behaves more like Asante Twi. Given the genetic relationship between the Akan and North Guang branches, of which Bono and Krachi are respective members, this raises the possibility that Bono has preserved interrogative constructions that have been lost in other Akan varieties, supporting a deeper genetic affiliation between the two branches.
Selected Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Interfaces in African Languages
edited by Ọ
la Orie and Karen W. Sanders
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