The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 10/3 - Hadas Kotek

Speaker: Hadas Kotek
Title: What moves where when you process wh-in-situ
Date/Time: Thursday, Oct 3, 12:30-1:45p
Location: 32-D461

Recent theories of interrogative syntax/semantics adopt two strategies for the interpretation of in-situ wh-phrases: covert movement (Karttunen 1977, a.o.) and in-situ interpretation (Hamblin 1973, a.o.). The availability of covert movement is traditionally assumed to be all-or-nothing: the in-situ wh covertly moves to C or else stays in its base-generated position and is interpreted without movement at LF. In this talk I argue that this assumption cannot be maintained. I present evidence from real-time sentence processing of English multiple wh-questionswhich shows that wh-phrases require both covert movement and in-situ interpretation for their derivation. I propose a new syntax-semantics for multiple questions that can derive the experimental data.