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


Wh & wh-questions in Greek: Monoclausal or Biclausal?*

This paper examines wh & wh-questions in Greek with a twofold aim: first, to present the syntactic and semantic properties of the Greek data, and second, to investigate their syntactic derivation. Following a detailed presentation of the data, the conjunction possibilities of wh-phrases are considered. Verbal subcategorization requirements are a major factor regulating the conjunctions of wh-phrases with different grammatical functions. The relative ordering of the conjoined wh-elements is restricted when one of them is a subject, in which case the wh-subject has to precede all other question words. The readings of wh & wh-questions are different from those of both multiple questions and wh-constructions with postverbal conjunction of a second question word. Regarding the issue of syntactic derivation, I argue that monoclausal analyses do not capture the properties of the Greek data. Likewise, the predictions that follow from the backward ellipsis analysis (along the lines of Giannakidou & Merchant 1998) are not borne out. In contrast, a biclausal analysis along the lines of Gracanin-Yuksek (2007) accounts for the basic syntactico-semantic properties of the construction in question.