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Title:Optimal Questions
Authors:Peter Ackema, Ad Neeleman
Abstract: Optimal Questions




Peter Ackema & Ad Neeleman

Utrecht University

The variation among languages in the formation of multiple WH-

questions seems to be rather dramatic at first sight. In Dutch and

English multiple questions are formed by movement of the highest

WH-element and accompanying verb movement, while the other WHs remain

in situ. In Bulgarian and Romanian all WHs are moved to the specifier

of the highest functional projection and the verb moves to the head of

this projection. In Czech and Polish all WHs are adjoined to VP while

the verb remains in situ. In Chinese and Japanese nothing moves. In

French, finally, either the `English' or the `Chinese' pattern

appears. In this paper we argue that all existing and non-existing

patterns can be made to follow from the reranking of two general

constraints on question formation and the well-known Stay / Shortest

Steps condition. The basis of the analyses is a version of X-bar

theory (proposed earlier in Ackema et al. 1993) that derives

functional projections as a result of movement.

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1