LINGUIST List 5.540

Sat 26 Mar 1994

Qs: Interrogatives in French; Spanish; Question particles

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  1. David Pesetsky, Query: Subject embedded interrogatives in French
  2. "Thor Sigurd Nilsen", Q: Mexican Spanish
  3. , Question particles

Message 1: Query: Subject embedded interrogatives in French

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 94 15:22:36
From: David Pesetsky <pesetskMIT.EDU>
Subject: Query: Subject embedded interrogatives in French

I have been looking at Huot's 1981 book on French infinitives, and was
intrigued (and surprised) to see on p.128 the observation (not about
infinitives) that, for her, subject indirect questions are impossible.

She marks 'si' questions as worse than the others, but marks all of them
as bad:

"Une interrogative indirecte ne peut jamais se trouver en position de
sujet:

 ??Qui a dit cela ne m'interesse pas.

 *??Par qui ces travaux seront payes concerne tous les habitants
 de la commune.

 *??A qui doivent etre distribues d'eventuels benefices figure
 dans tous les statuts des mutuelles.

 *Si Jean devra prendre la parole ne figure pas dans les
 instructions qui ont ete diffusees. [...]"

My question is addressed to French speakers or others who care to check
with French speakers. Is there agreement on these judgments? One
speaker I have contacted so far finds only the example with "si" to be
deviant, while another expresses her agreement with Huot's judgments.

One should also compare these examples with embedded declaratives in
subject position (for which I have no judgments at present). That is,
are we dealing with an effect of an empty C position in Huot's examples,
or something more general about subject clauses:

 Que Pierre a dit cela ne m'interesse pas.

If Huot's judgments are correct, does adding a 'que' help, in those
dialects and registers of French that allow "doubly-filled COMP
phenomena?

Thanks,

David Pesetsky
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Message 2: Q: Mexican Spanish

Date: Fri, 25 Mar 94 10:59:30 CSQ: Mexican Spanish
From: "Thor Sigurd Nilsen" <Thor.S.Nilsentdh.no>
Subject: Q: Mexican Spanish

Hello everyone,
Has anyone out there heard about a variant of Mexican Spanish called "fresa"
(strawberry Spanish)? What does the term refer to? Is it a youth culture
variant, or is it shared by other age groups? When I heard the term I got
the impression that it was a type of Spanish mostly used by young people.
Does anyone know what the characteristics are?
Please respond to me personally, and I'll summarise for the List if there is
sufficient interest.
Regards Thor S. Nilsen
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Message 3: Question particles

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 1994 16:22:33 Question particles
From: <ewb2cornell.edu>
Subject: Question particles

Can anyone cite recent works on the categorial status, classification, and
nature of question particles (e.g. _li_ / _czy_ / _ci_ for yes-no questions
in Slavic languages, -ne in Latin)? Please write to ewb2cornell.edu
(Wayles Browne).
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