Linguistic Analysis

A research journal devoted to the publication of high quality articles in formal phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. In continuous publication since 1976. ISSN: 0098-9053


Question(able) Issues in Cypriot Greek

This paper investigates structures of wh-in situ in a wh-ex situ language, Cypriot Greek (CG), where in-situ wh-expressions are felicitous to form an information question under particular pragmatic, discourse-specific conditions. In particular, compared to Standard Modern Greek (SMG), certain structures that should not be possible or at least be expected less preferred than others seem to be permitted. The quantitative investigation reported here is based on a questionnaire study on both syntactic structures and available interpretations of wh-in situ in CG. This study shows that there are grammatical differences between CG and SMG which can be investigated formally. In particular, the following observations are offered: (i) some SMG wh-phrases may optionally remain in situ, whereas their CG counterparts must undergo wh-fronting; (ii) CG embu ‘is (it) that’ may only appear in wh-ex-situ questions; and (iii) CG allows a manner or instrumental interpretation for in-situ pos ‘how’, while SMG seems to only allow the instrumental reading. In addition, a solution to some complications concerning complex structures with oti ‘that’-complement clauses will be suggested.