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WH Constructions in Ikalanga: A Remnant Movement Analysis
Rose M. Letsholo
258-270 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper investigates WH constructions in Ikalanga, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana and parts of Zimbabwe. The paper argues that Ikalanga WH constructions with sentence-final WH phrases prefixed with ndi are not in-situ and that in fact they are derived constructions resulting from a syntactic operation, namely attract. Since Ikalanga has two types of WH constructions, namely in-situ and focused, this paper shows that WH constructions with fronted WH phrases prefixed with ndi and those with sentence-final WH phrases prefixed with ndi are essentially derived in the same way. Their derivation involves displacement of the WH phrase to spec FocP when the WH phrase gets attracted by the head of FocP. The sentence-final WH phrase constructions differ from the sentence-initial WH phrase in that the remnant clause containing the trace (copy) of the focused WH phrase is then dislocated for discourse purposes. Such dislocation seemingly leads to a violation of principles of grammar such as the Proper Binding Condition proposed in Chomsky (1986). However, this paper shows that such violations can be avoided if we adopt the remnant movement analysis proposed in Mueller (1998) and Epstein (2001).

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives
edited by John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, and Dee A. Worman
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00