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Share Paper 2451

Against Spurious Coordination in Multiple Wh-questions
Barbara Tomaszewicz
186-195 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


The paper provides novel evidence for a bi-clausal derivation of coordinated multiple wh-questions of the form 'Who and what bought?' in multiple wh-fronting languages. In contrast to regular multiple wh-questions, the wh-phrases in such coordinated multiple wh-questions can be separated by 'high' speaker-oriented adverbs, the strictly clausal coordinator a and the focus pronoun to in Polish and Bulgarian. On the proposed analysis the coordinator is semantically contentful and conjoins two questions; the TP in the first conjunct is elided. The ellipsis is linked to the presence of existential presupposition in coordinated multiple wh-questions that is absent in regular multiple questions. The present account also predicts that coordinated multiple wh-questions, in contrast to regular multiple wh-questions, can have a multiple-pair reading with an additional effect, which is supported by data from Bulgarian, Polish, Russian and Romanian. None of the above properties can be accounted for without stipulation on a monoclausal approach, which additionally is forced to treat the coordinator as a truth-conditionally meaningless element that only serves a structural purpose.

Published in

Proceedings of the 28th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Mary Byram Washburn, Katherine McKinney-Bock, Erika Varis, Ann Sawyer, and Barbara Tomaszewicz
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00