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

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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

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Chapter seven Summary and conclusions

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7.0 Introduction

The aim of this dissertation is to contribute to the study on A-bar constructions with focus on the structure of wh-questions and their answers in Dagbani, a Mabia (Gur) language of the South-Western Oti-Volta subgroup language family spoken in Ghana (West Africa). In the preceding chapters, I have discussed the structure and inventory of Dagbani wh-phrases, the distribution of wh-phrases in the derivation of wh-questions, empirical evidence in support of a movement account of wh-questions, and the syntactic structure of wh-questions, particularly, fragment answers. The work consists of seven chapters covering various themes on wh-questions and their answers. This chapter proceeds us follows. Section 7.1 presents a general summary of the dissertation while in section 7.2, I outline the scientific contributions of the dissertation. Open issues for further research are presented in section 7.3.

7.1 Summary of the findings of the dissertation

The main goal of this dissertation is to provide a theoretically informed description of the morphosyntactic properties of Dagbani wh-questions and their answers. In the first place, the dissertation has offered a new empirical investigation into aspects of the language that had hitherto not received any systematic study. The work focused on the inventory and grammatical properties of question words (wh-phrases), the structure of wh-questions, structural correlation between wh-questions and their answers, the syntactic derivation of fragment answers and finally using island constraints to motivate a movement account of Dagbani wh-questions. In the discussion that follows, I outline...

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