LINGUIST List 9.293

Fri Feb 27 1998

Disc: Wh Movement

Editor for this issue: Julie Wilson <>


  1. Lukasz Pielasa, Q: wh-movement

Message 1: Q: wh-movement

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 15:10:47 +0100
From: Lukasz Pielasa <>
Subject: Q: wh-movement

 A friend of mine is currently struggling with her MA thesis on wh-mvt. A
pertinent question that she has asked me time and again is: in the sentence
Who is the best? and generally in wh-questions about the subject, do we
allow vacuous mvt. of who to [spec, cp]? And, subsequently, of is to C?
Otherwise, how do we get the contracted Who's the best? Or (if Bob didn't
kill John, nor did Betty, then) Who DID kill John? Or perhaps traces do not
block contraction? Please, help.

I suppose minimalism would not recognise this as a problem, and presumably
GB would say move vacuously. Or am I wrong? What do other theoretic
frameworks (HPSG, optimality, etc.) have to say on that issue?
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