Discourse-linked interrogative phrase

From Glottopedia
Revision as of 17:22, 5 July 2009 by Haspelmath (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

A discourse-linked (or d-linked) interrogative phrase is an interrogative phrase like which man that implies the existence of a context set of familiar entities of the type denoted by the nominal (e.g., a set of already familiar men) (Pesetsky 1987, Enç 1991). They contrast with non-discourse linked interrogative pronouns such as who, which carry no necessary implication about familiar discourse entities.

Comment

The distinction between discourse-linked and non-discourse-linked interrogative phrases has been shown to be relevant for syntax in some cases. As Pesetsky (1987) noted, discourse-linked phrases can violate superiority:

(2) a. Mary asked [who[e read what]]? 
    b. *Mary asked [what[who read e]]?

(3) a. Mary asked which man [e read which book]? 
    b. Mary asked which book [which man read e]?