Show Less
Restricted access

On the structure of A-bar constructions in Dagbani: Perspectives of «wh»-questions and fragment answers

Series:

Samuel Alhassan Issah

This book provides an account of the structure of A-bar constructions, focusing on wh-questions and fragment answers in Dagbani, a Mabia (Gur) language spoken in Northern Ghana. It demonstrates that Dagbani wh-phrases occur in two distinct positions, ex-situ and in-situ, except for subject wh-phrases, which only occur in the former position. It provides a theoretical analysis of the distribution of the wh-phrases couched within minimalism (Chomsky 1995). Finally, the book gives an account of the structural correlation between wh-questions and their answers with the focus on the syntactic derivation of fragment answers. The author contends that the derivation of fragment answer involves two processes: A-bar movement together with PF-deletion

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter three The syntax of Dagbani ex-situ wh-questions

Extract



3.0 Introduction

In the preceding chapter, I investigated the structure of the interrogative determiner phrase (DP) of Dagbani paying attention to the inventory of wh-phrases, their internal structure and grammatical properties. I also offered a theoretical account of the marking of number in wh-phrases and provided a root analysis for suppletion. The central topic investigated in this chapter is the derivation of ex-situ wh-questions. I show that all categories of wh-phrases (that is, subjects and non-subjects) are compatible with the ex-situ strategy of forming wh-questions. I further demonstrate that there is a mandatory requirement for the overt morphological presence of the particles kà or ń/ḿ/ŋ, which immediately follow the dislocated wh-phrase. The chapter also presents a Minimalist analysis of the ex-situ wh-questions. A systematic discussion is also offered on the distribution of the particles kà and the homorganic nasal ń/ḿ/ŋ, which are obligatory in the formation of ex-situ wh-questions. Finally, I discuss the licensing of some reflexes of overt movement including the use of resumptive pronouns and traces.

This chapter proceeds as follows. Section 3.1 reviews earlier analyses of Dagbani ex-situ wh-questions highlighting some research gaps in the previous findings that the current research aims to fill. In section 3.2, I discuss the ex-situ strategy of deriving wh-questions delving into movement within matrix/root clauses. I show that the structure of ex-situ wh-questions exhibits a structural resemblance/parallelism to ex-situ focus constructions, motivating the proposal that the two target the same syntactic position. Also...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.