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Bookmark and Share Paper 3042

Optional Wh-Movement and Clefts
Anisa Schardl
391-398 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper is an investigation of wh-movement in Simple Partial Movement languages. These languages allow for wh in situ word orders, wh-fronting word orders, or word orders in which the wh-item appears in an intermediate left peripheral position. A tempting analysis for wh-movement in these languages is clefting, but the clefting analysis does not work for Dholuo and Kikuyu. In Dholuo, wh-movement constructions without an overt copula do not have cleft semantics, but constructions with an overt copula do. In Kikuyu and Dholuo, wh-movement is possible in multiple wh-questions, which suggests that these are not clefts. Schwarz (2003) shows that wh-movement constructions in Kikuyu may be within the same clause. An alternative analysis of wh-movement in Dholuo and Kikuyu is provided, based on the syntax and semantics of questions in Cable (2010). Malay is given as an example of a language with Simple Partial Movement that may very well be clefting.

Published in

Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00