From: Louise Mycock <louise.mycockmanchester.ac.uk>
Subject: The Typology of Constituent Questions: A Lexical-Functional Grammar analysis of 'wh'-questions
Institution: University of Manchester
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006
Author: Louise Mycock
Dissertation Title: The Typology of Constituent Questions: A Lexical-Functional Grammar analysis of 'wh'-questions
Subject Language(s): English (eng)
In this thesis, I explore a non-derivational approach to the typology of
constituent ('wh') questions. Two principles are hypothesized to underlie
constituent question formation cross-linguistically: focusing of all
question words and the marking of interrogative scope. It is posited that
the requirements for focusing and scope marking can be met at the level of
syntax and/or prosody. These proposals are examined in relation to
constituent question formation in four case-study languages, each intended
to represent a type or types of constituent question formation strategy
identified in the literature: Japanese (in situ), Hungarian ('multiple
fronting', 'partial 'wh'-movement'), English ('simple fronting'), and
Malay ('bare scope marking').
Data show that focusing of question words, whether prosodic or syntactic,
has a part to play in each of these constituent question formation
strategies. There is also evidence of interrogative scope marking by
syntactic and/or prosodic means. It is revealed that interrogative scope is
delimited by a configuration involving one question phrase, distinguishable
from others in a multiple constituent question in terms of the way in which
it is focused. A new approach to 'scope marking' constructions is also
outlined, based on the proposal that clauses can be question phrases just
as other constituents can.
The proposed Lexical-Functional Grammar analysis of constituent questions
enables a typology of constituent question formation strategies to be
presented which provides a fresh perspective on the issue. Constituent
question formation strategies appear to exploit different means involving
distinct structural levels to achieve the same ends. This thesis shows that
by refining and fully exploiting the parallel architecture of
Lexical-Functional Grammar, generalizations can be made which provide new
insights into the formation of constituent questions cross-linguistically.
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