University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper addresses two salient properties of wh-interrogatives in EA: First, the utilization of the in-situ and ex-situ strategies to form wh-questions, and second, the optional occurrence of the (Q)uestion-particle huwwa in the initial position of such structures. In the first half of the paper, I argue that scope in wh-questions in EA is licensed via unselective binding by an interrogative operator, which may either bind a wh-phrase in the lexical domain, thereby giving rise to an in-situ wh-question, or a wh-phrase in SpecFocP, thereby giving rise to an ex-situ wh-question. In the second half of the paper, I turn to the discussion of the grammatical status of the Q-particle huwwa, arguing, on the basis of theoretical and empirical evidence, against both Wahba’s (1984) claim that huwwa is obligatorily needed to define the scope of in-situ wh-phrases, as well as Eid’s (1992) analysis of huwwa as derived from an underlying pronominal copula. Instead, I argue that huwwa is a clause-typing Q-morpheme that occupies a head position in an articulated left-periphery of the clause, has f-features, and induces (a degree of) presupposition. Diagnostics such as felicity of negative answers and suspension of the associated proposition underlying a question suggest that different degrees of presupposition underlie different types of wh-questions in EA, hence lending support to a fine-grained approach to the interpretation of questions, as has been argued recently in Romero and Han 2004, Tomioka 2009, and Eilam and Lai 2009.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.