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The Interaction of Prosody and Wh-scope and the Pragmatics of Wh-islands: Data from Osaka Japanese
Hitomi Minamida
179-188 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Deguchi and Kitagawa (2002), Ishihara (2003), and some subsequent researchers have claimed that there is a one-to-one correspondence between prosody and interpretation in Tokyo Japanese because Tokyo Japanese can override wh-islands by means of prosody. Other than Hirotani (2005) and Hwang (2015), no perception experiments have been conducted to verify this claim. Hirotani claims that the one-to-one mapping hypothesis does not hold based on the results of her experiments; she found that in wh-island violation contexts, only about half of the trials overcame wh-islands. This paper presents the results of the perception survey in Minamida (2020), which investigates the relationship between wh-prosody and interpretation in Osaka Japanese. Minamida's data replicate Hirotani's and Hwang's data in Tokyo Japanese, but suggest that wh-islands cannot be overridden by prosody. The data also suggest that wh-islands seem to be violable because speakers try to provide "super-informative" answers, which can be extended to the phenomena discussed in Watanabe (1992) and Takahashi (1993).

Published in

Proceedings of the 37th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by D. K. E. Reisinger and Marianne Huijsmans
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00