The Superiority Violation for Multiple Wh-Interrogatives in the Optimality Theory Framework on the Synthetic Constraints

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Hwang, YoonAh
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Seoul National University Department of English Language and Literature
SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics 6, 122-140
In English multiple wh-interrogatives are particularly blocked as they violates the superiority condition (e.g., *What has seen who?) and remain an active issue of debate. There have been various analysis on the superiority violation (hereafter, SUV). For instance, Kuno and Robinson (1972) initially identified multiple wh-interrogatives. They used the syntactic approach on analysing SUV of wh-interrogatives. The higher wh- should c-command the lower wh-. (e.g., *What will who buy?) Next, the triple wh-, which first appeared on Chomsky (1973), results a problem according to the syntactic approach (e.g., John wonders what who say when.). Additionally, Pesetsky (1984) develops the D(discourse)-linking and the non-D-linking as the semantic approach to illustrate triple wh-interrogatives (e.g., What did which woman buy?). Futhermore, Dayal (2005) studied multiple wh-interrogatives as the phonological approach (e.g., Has who seem what?). Despite a lot of discussion have been done, previous papers are not sufficient for describing SUV. The upshot of this study is to investigate how well multiple wh-interrogatives as one of syntactic phenomenon can be controlled by an integrative alternative, the synthetic approach which utilize syntactic (e.g., Q-free, *Q-cross), semantic (e.g, *New), and phonological constraints (e.g., Rhythm) in OT framework and to refer rhythm patterns.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU working papers in English language and linguisticsSNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.06 (2007)
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