Date of Degree

9-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

Sam Al Khatib

Advisor

Jason Kandybowicz

Committee Members

Jonathan Nissenbaum

Keywords

wh-NPI, wh-in-situ, wh-questions, upward agree, wh-prosody, island effects, intervention effects

Abstract

This dissertation investigates the syntactic and semantic aspects of long-distance dependency involved in Korean wh-Negative Polarity Items (NPIs). Korean wh-NPIs consist of a wh-item and a focus particle -to meaning `also' or `even'. In all reported cases, the wh-item and -to appear adjacent to each other. However, the wh-item and -to can appear discontinuously when the NPI licenser is located in a different clause from the wh-NPI. I will call this new form of wh-NPIs "split wh-NPIs". The central claims of this dissertation are the following. The first, long-distance dependency displayed in split wh-NPIs is attained via overt movement of a focus particle -to `also/even' in an effort to form a local relation with an NPI licenser. Second, -to is interpreted with its associated wh-item via point-wise semantic composition without forming a local relation at LF. These conclusions are motivated by finding two sets of new data: 1) split wh-NPIs cannot be formed across island boundaries, 2) split wh-NPIs are susceptible to focus intervention effects. This analysis has important implications for another wh-in-situ construction in Korean, wh-questions. By comparing split wh-NPIs with wh-in-situ questions, I argue that wh-in-situ questions do not involve any type of movement.

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