LINGUIST List 15.2813

Thu Oct 07 2004

Qs: Wh-In-Situ Constructions: Chinese, French, Korean

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <>


        1.    Toru Ishii Multiple Q's in Chinese

Multiple Q's in Chinese

Date: 07-Oct-2004
From: Toru Ishii < >
Subject: Multiple Q's in Chinese

Dear Linguists, 
I'd like to check the acceptability of some Chinese, Korean, 
and French examples. 
I've been investigating the availability of a single-pair reading with a 
multiple question and the coordinate structure constraint effects with 
wh's-in-situ. According to Boskovicz's LI paper (2002), (1) has only a 
pair-list reading, but not a single-pair reading: 
(1) Who bought what? 
Hence, (1) cannot be felicitously asked in the following situation: John is in 
a store and sees somebody buying an article of clothing, but does not 
see who it is and does not see exactly what the person is buying. He goes to 
the sales clerk and asks (1). But, its Japanese counterpart (2) has both a 
single-pair and a pair-list reading, and thus can be felicitously asked in the 
above situation. Then, the question is what about its Chinese and Korean counterparts. 
Do they have both a single-pair and a pair-list reading, or only a pair-list reading? 
In other words, can the Chinese and Korean counterparts of (1-2) be felicitously 
asked in the above situation? 
Next, in English, it has been observed that wh's-in-situ are not allowed in 
conjuncts (Chomsky's LGB and Pesetsky's dissertation): 
(3) *Who saw [John and who]? 
(4) *Which article [proves your theorem and defends what theory]. 
Their Japanese counterparts, however, are good. What about their Chinese 
and Korean counterparts? Do they exhibit the coordinate structure constraint effects? 
Finally, what about the coordinate structure constraint effects with 
wh's-in-situ in French? I cannot construct relevant examples in French by 
myself, so I've written down the examples to check in English. When you 
translate the English examples (7-8) into the French ones word-by-word, 
are the resultant French sentences good or bad? Please note that (7) is intended 
to be a wh-in-situ question whereas (8) is intended to be a question with a 
fronted wh-phrase: 
(7) John has given what to [Mary and who]? 
(8) What has John given to [Mary and who]? 
I'll post a summary if I have enough response. Thanks. 
Toru Ishii 
Meiji University, 
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics; Syntax 

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