Wh- expressions in Krachi, an endangered and underdocumented Kwa language, may appear in-situ and in left-peripheral focus positions. This dual distribution characterizes all Krachi interrogative expressions except why. Unlike other wh- items in the language, why may not appear clause-internally. Instead, it must surface in the left periphery. In this article, we discuss two analytical options for deriving Krachi's asymmetrical distribution of in-situ wh- items. The first derives the distribution from the prosodic mapping of DPs in the language, drawing on Richards' (2010) theory of wh- in-situ. The second exploits the cartographic notion that why is cross-linguistically a dedicated left peripheral operator. We argue that typological and semantic considerations favor the latter approach and, hence, that prosody does not drive wh- syntax as per Richards (2010). The Krachi facts do suggest, however, that certain aspects of Richards' proposal are correct. Based on these considerations, we propose a reinterpretation of Richards' theory.
Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-451-5 library binding
viii + 406 pages
publication date: 2012
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA