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
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