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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2002, Vol. 33, No. 3, Pages 351-383
(doi: 10.1162/002438902760168536)
© 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On Multiple Wh-Fronting
Article PDF (269.26 KB)

I show that multiple wh-fronting languages (MWFL) do not behave uniformly regarding wh-movement and eliminate MWFL from the crosslinguistic typology concerning wh-movement in multiple questions. Regarding when they have wh-movement, MWFL behave like non-MWFL: some behave like English (they always have wh-movement), some like Chinese (they never have it), and some like French (they have it optionally although, as in French, wh-movement is sometimes required). MWFL differ from English, Chinese, and French in that in MWFL even wh-phrases that do not undergo wh-movement still must front for an independent reason, argued to involve focus. The fronting has several exceptions (semantic, phonological, and syntactic in nature), explanation for which leads me to posit a new type of in-situ wh-phrase and argue for the possibility of pronunciation of lower copies of chains.