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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Unique Focus
Subtitle: Languages without multiple wh-questions
Written By: Marina Stoyanova
Series Title: Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 123

This monograph focuses on an interesting typological property shared by
four languages: the ungrammaticality of multiple wh-questions in Irish,
Berber, Italian and Somali. It contains a broad discussion of data related
to the grammar of wh-questions, a comparative analysis of wh-constructions
in the four languages, and a theoretical account for the observed
phenomenon. The analysis is based on the minimalist syntax theory as
developed by Chomsky since 1995. It takes up the standard assumption that
wh-phrases are typical representatives of elements bearing new information,
in theoretical terms referred to as information focus. Most importantly, in
the languages without multiple wh-questions the information focus is
licensed in a unique syntactic position. The basic claim is that languages
with unique focus are languages without multiple wh-questions. The analysis
makes possible the classification of the languages without multiple
wh-questions into the crosslinguistic typology of wh-constructions.
Furthermore, this book is a contribution to the better understanding of
information structure in natural languages, especially of focusing phenomena.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: John Benjamins
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Irish
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027255067
ISBN-13: 9789027255068
Pages: 184
Prices: Europe EURO 115.00
U.S. $ 173.00