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LINGUIST List 17.2358

Fri Aug 18 2006

Sum: A Minimalist Approach to Wh-constructions

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Souad Slaoui, A Minimalist Approach to Wh-constructions

Message 1: A Minimalist Approach to Wh-constructions
Date: 17-Aug-2006
From: Souad Slaoui <slaouisouadyahoo.fr>
Subject: A Minimalist Approach to Wh-constructions

Query for this summary posted in LINGUIST Issue: 17.2298
Regarding Query: http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-2298.html#2 

Emily Manetta wrote informing me about her Ph.D dissertation that deals
with Peripheries in Kashmiri and Hindi-Urdu.Here is the abstract of her
dissertation :

This dissertation is an investigation of wh-movement and wh-expletive
constructions in the Indic language Kashmiri.

Through this investigation, we develop a theory of the periphery, or the
clausal positions which mediate A-bar movement. In particular, a detailed
study of wh-expletives and wh-expletive constructions reveals underlying
similarity of design between the A and A-bar systems, and indicates that
the two can be understood as driven by the same basic set of mechanisms.
Empirically, this work addresses the lesser-studied language Kashmiri,
bringing to the fore linguistic data not yet discussed in formal syntactic

The dissertation advances our understanding of the A-bar system in three
core areas. First, we present the basic facts of the rich left periphery
of the Kashmiri clause, and provide an account of this periphery that
employs a single functional head. This account seeks to build on the
empirical advances of the so-called “cartographic” hierarchy of
projections, while offering an analysis of the left periphery that is
compatible with the notion of the phase.

Second, the dissertation presents the wh-movement and wh-expletive
constructions of Kashmiri, and offers an account of wh-dependencies which
in which the mechanisms driving the A and A-bar systems emerge as being
parallel – in a way that does not emerge so clearly from the more
closely-studied languages.

Finally, the dissertation offers a micro-comparison of the syntax of
wh-questions in Kashmiri and in Hindi-Urdu. This detailed comparative work
yields an important result: we can understand a set of systematic contrasts
between the two languages in terms of the properties of specifically the
phase-defining heads C and v. In effect, what we see is the same clausal
topology in Kashmiri and Hindi-Urdu, but occurring lower in the clause in
Hindi-Urdu (at the vP layer) and higher in the clause in Kashmiri (at the CP
layer). This lends support to the claim that the specifier position of vP
may play the same role often attributed to the specifier position of CP in
wh-movement: it can be a position for wh-expletives and partially moved

Thank you Corina Anderson for drawing my attention to very critical issues
such as the difference between Rel & Wh , and also to other constructions
such as correlatives , participial relatives. Her remarks and suggestions
are also interesting for they question the extent to which an analysis
assuming a derivational approach can be extended to other structures
such as relatives.

Thank you once more for your valuable remarks

Finally hakima Marouani writes:
since you are looking for any references that may help in your research, I
would like to inform you that there is an MA thesis about RELATIVES IN
ARABIC.submitted by Alzzahri Driss in Ibn Tofail University(2006-2007). I
am not sure of its great use to you but I think that it may help. The
thesis is delivered in Arabic.

Arabic and dialectale linguistics UFR
Ibn Tofail University

Thank you Hakima Marouani for informing me on a number of recent works on
Relatives in Arabic carried out within Chomsky's Minimalism approach
including an MA thesis about RELATIVES IN ARABIC.submitted by Alzzahri
Driss in Ibn Tofail University(2006-2007). Special thanks go to Hakima for
giving me her judments on a large body of data in Moroccan Arabic, which I
appreciate a lot.

Well, thanks again to all of you who responded , may be I will quote one or
two of you in my dissertation (about the treatment of left periphery
Within Chomsky's 2001, 2001 approach, and the approach to structures like
corelatives and participial relatives.

Kindest regards

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

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