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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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By David Crystal

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Grammar of Q: Q-Particles and the Nature of Wh-Fronting, as Revealed by the Wh-Questions of Tlingit Add Dissertation
Author: Seth Cable Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Completed in: 2007
Linguistic Subfield(s): Language Documentation; Semantics; Syntax; Typology;
Subject Language(s): Tlingit
Director(s): Danny Fox
Norvin Richards
Irene Heim
David Pesetsky

Abstract: The central claim of this thesis is that the agent responsible for a
variety of phenomena surrounding wh-operators is not those operators
themselves, but rather a distinct element that we label a
‘Q(uestion)-particle’. In many languages, the Q-particle is phonologically
empty, and so its role in various phenomena has not yet been recognized.
Most importantly, careful study of these Q-particles reveals that the
phenomenon known as ‘pied-piping’ does not exist, and that all putative
examples of it are actually instances of normal phrasal movement of the

This thesis starts from the demonstration that wh-fronting in Tlingit
(Na-Dene; Alaska, British Columbia, Yukon) does not involve a syntactic
relationship between the interrogative C and the wh-word. Rather, it
involves a probe/Agree relation between C and an overt Q-particle
c-commanding the wh-word. Fronting of the wh-word in Tlingit wh-questions
is a mere by-product of fronting the projection of the Q-particle. From
this core observation, a syntax and semantics for Tlingit wh-questions is

Given the strong similarity between the wh-constructions of Tlingit and
those of more widely studied languages, the analysis developed for Tlingit
is then applied to a range of other languages. It is found that such a
‘Q-based’ theory of wh-constructions holds a variety of analytic consequences.

Regarding so-called ‘pied-piping structures’, the Q-based theory provides
an analysis of such structures where the very concept of ‘pied-piping’ is
eliminated from the theory of grammar. Furthermore, the Q-based theory
provides a semantics for wh-questions that correctly interprets pied-piping
structures without recourse to any mechanisms beyond those needed for
wh-questions without pied-piping. Finally, the Q-based theory accounts for
various constraints on pied-piping, and correctly predicts the scope and
limits of its variation across languages.

Beyond its treatment of pied-piping, the Q-based theory also provides a
novel syntax and semantics for multiple wh-questions, which successfully
ties the presence of Superiority Effects to the absence of Intervention
Effects, and which correctly predicts a previously unnoticed Intervention
Effect in English. Moreover, it provides a novel, unified account of the
ill-formedness of left branch extractions, as well as of preposition stranding.