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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2001, Vol. 32, No. 1, Pages 87-122
(doi: 10.1162/002438901554595)
© 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Multiple Wh-Fronting
Article PDF (202.35 KB)

This article argues that overt multiple wh-fronting in languages like Bulgarian consists of moving a single wh-cluster to [Spec, CP]. The formation of wh-clusters is motivated by the assumption that wh-elements can act as landing sites for wh-movement due to morphological properties of wh-words. I further argue that languages such as Japanese constitute covert instances of this process of wh-cluster formation, accounting for intricate constraints on multiple wh-questions such as the so-called “additional-wh effect.” Another central claim of the article is that despite appearances, multiple wh-questions in German equally involve the formation of wh-clusters, which are shown to consist of one visible and one or more invisible wh-elements. This analysis provides a new account for the lack of “short” and the presence of “long” superiority effects in German.