March 30, 2018
Sandra Wood (University of Southern Maine)
Multiple Wh-Questions in ASL: Focus movement and D-linking
Friday, March 30 | 10:30 am | 2 Arrow Street, Room 420 (Buzzer #427)
(Talk in ASL, with interpreters.)
Abstract: I discuss cross-linguistic strategies for the questioning of multiple wh-phrases, exemplified through the relationship between focus movement and D-linking. ASL exhibits an in-situ paradox, by which an object wh-phrase is allowed to remain in-situ in a single wh-question, but not in a multiple wh-question. I show that this in-situ paradox is related to rightward movement of the wh-phrase for focus and the inability of D-linked wh-phrases to undergo focus movement. Moreover, to understand why this is occurring, I argue that the mechanism of ‘unselective binding’ allows the wh-phrase to remain in-situ. These findings illustrate how ASL fits within the typological framework for the structure of wh-questions and how current theoretical approaches for wh-questions in the ASL research literature are not able to account for the in-situ paradox.