Chapter published in:Topics in Theoretical Asian Linguistics: Studies in honor of John B. Whitman
Edited by Kunio Nishiyama, Hideki Kishimoto and Edith Aldridge
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 250] 2018
► pp. 73–96
Some asymmetries of long distance scope assignment in Sinhala
Sinhala is classified as a wh-in-situ language; wh-phrases do not undergo movement, and most typically, their scope is determined relative to the (LF) position of a separable Q element associated with them. Nevertheless, some wh-phrases are not associated with separable Q elements and in such cases, the scope of wh-phrases is determined by a null operator base-generated in the local Spec-CP. In pseudo-cleft constructions, different conditions apply to null operator insertion, since a null operator is inserted in the local Spec-CP if true adjuncts (reason and manner adjuncts) are placed in focus position. I argue that when null operator insertion takes place, no A′-movement is implemented, so that the host wh-phrases are not allowed to have long distance construal. The difference in conditions on null operator insertion give rise to four distinct patterns of wh-questioning in wh-focus and pseudo-cleft constructions.
Keywords: wh-in-situ, Q element, null operator insertion, wh-questioning, pseudo-clefting, Sinhala
Published online: 12 December 2018
Gair, J. & Sumangala, L.
Groat, E. & O’Neil, J.