LINGUIST List 8.1313

Tue Sep 16 1997

Sum: Partial Movement

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. Gisbert Fanselow, Partial movement

Message 1: Partial movement

Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 13:03:04 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Gisbert Fanselow <>
Subject: Partial movement

Some time ago, I posted queries concerning partial wh-movement and

Many thanks to the following colleagues who responded: David Basilico,
Wayles Browne, Alice Davison, Jarich Hoekstra, Jacqueline van Kampen,
Natalia Kondrashova, Andreas Menge, Miriam Meyerhoff, Jairo Nunes,
Tobias Philippen, Acrisio Pires, Adam Przepiorkowski.

The results seem to be: 
1. Partial movement of a wh-phrase without a scope marker, 
as in Bahasa Indonesia
Bill tahu siapa yang Tom cintai
Bill knows who FOC Tom loves
"who does Bill know that Tom loves"?
(from Saddy 1992)

In addition to Bahasa Indonesia, this construction can be found in
Malay, Kikuyu, Slave, perhaps Navajo

and Russian, as in:
Ty dumaesh, kogo Masha ljubit?
 you think who M. loves
"who do you think Mary loves?"

2. Partial movement in a construction in which the scope of the
partially moved wh-phrase is determined by another wh-phrase, as in

ko vakerja kaj o Demiri khelja
who said where the Demir danced
"who said that Demir danced where"
(from McDaniel 1989)

At least up to now, I haven't read of any other language allowing this
kind of construction. Some speakers of German say that talk that way.

3. Partial movement in a construction in which scope is marked by the
insertion of a scope marker meaning "what" in other constructions, as
in German:

was glaubst Du wen sie liebt
what believe you who she loves
"who do you believe that she loves?"

German, Frisian, Afrikaans, Hungarian, Iraqi Arabic (maybe also
Egyptian Arabic), Warlbiri, Serbo-Croatian. Some (northern?) dialects
of Dutch.

Russian and Polish may also have this construction type, with "how"
instead of "what" as a scope marker.

jak myslisz, kto wczoraj do nas przyszedl?
how think-2SG who yesterday to us came
"Who do you think visited us yesterday?"

There is no agreement among native speakers (but I asked just 3)
whether this type of construction can be embedded or not.

4. In a language employing the wh-in-situ strategy, scope marking by
WHAT may be found in the absense of partial movement, as in Hindi

Siitaa-ne kyaa socaa ki ravii-ne kis-ko dekhaa
Sita-erg what thought that Ravi-erg who saw
"who did Sita think that Ravi saw?"
(from Mahajan 1995)

This construction exists in Kashmiri and Marathi as well. 

5. Wh-Copying
(Copies of the wh-phrase placed in the intervening Spec-CP positions)

German, Romani, Afrikaans, Irish, Ewe, Hebrew.

I am currently writing a case study on partial movement for the SynCom
project. If you are interested, drop me a note and I'll e-mail you a
preliminary version of the article.

Any hints concerning partial movement and wh-copying are welcome!

Gisbert Fanselow
Lx, University of Potsdam, 
P.O. Box 601553, D-14415 Potsdam, Germany
Fon: x49-331-977-2446
Fax: x49-331-977-2761
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue