University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Two main theories compete to analyze wh-in-situ constructions in the Spanish clause: The “movement approach” (Uribe-Etxebarria (2002) and Etxepare and Uribe-Etxebarria (2005)) and the “in situ approach” (Reglero (2004, 2005)). According to Uribe-Etxebarria (2002) and Etxepare and Uribe-Etxebarria (2005), Spanish wh-in-situ questions have a complex syntax and involve two movement operations. First, the wh-word moves to Spec CP overtly. Then, the non-interrogative material (i.e. the remnant IP) moves over the displaced wh-word. Reglero (2004, 2005) argues against massive overt movement. She proposes that the properties of wh-in situ constructions are the result of the interplay of syntactic and phonological properties of these elements. This paper examines in detail wh-in-situ constructions in the nominal domain. The descriptive generalization is that wh-extraction is different from wh-in-situ in Spanish DPs, and it is not possible to analyze wh-in-situ as the result of movement. Crucially, the only requirement for wh-in-situ in the clausal and the nominal domains is the Sentence Final Requirement. That is, the presence of a wh-in-situ alters the neutral word order possibilities in the nominal domain. According to the evidence presented, the paper argues that a unified analysis of Spanish wh-in-situ is possible by appealing to Reglero’s non-movement approach.