So Young Lee: Syntax Brown Bag talk at NYU (November 3)

So Young Lee is invited to give a  talk on "Wh-island in wh-in situ languages" for the Syntax Brown Bag Talk Series at New York University (NYU) on November 3, 2017. 

Abstract of So Young's talk is shown below.


Nishigauchi (1990, 1999), Watanabe (1992), Han (1992), and Choe (1995) claim that wh-in situ languages such as Japanese and Korean obey wh-island constraint at LF. They argue that the semantic scope of nwukwu ‘who’ in the embedded clause in (1) cannot be extended to the matrix clause and that (1) is interpreted as the embedded scope reading (1a) only.

(1) John-un   [Mary-ka  nwukwu-lul mannassnun-ci] mwuless-eo?
     John-Top [Mary-Nom who-Acc   met-Comp]         asked?
     a. ‘Did John ask who Mary met t?’
     b. ‘Who did John ask whether Mary met t?’

The comprehension tests conducted by Hwang (2011), however, show that the matrix scope reading (1b) is also acceptable with the proper intonation, allowing such a violation. In addition to prosody, there is another factor that potentially affects the judgment of scope: the surface syntactic position of the wh-phrase. Japanese and Korean allow scrambling of wh-phrases, even to the left edge of the matrix clause as in (2).

(2) nwukwu-lul John-un  [Mary-ka t mannassnun-ci] mwuless-eo?
     who-Acc     John-Top [Mary-Nom t met-Comp]     asked?

Thus, in this talk, I will present how the wh-phrase moved out of the embedded clause by scrambling affects wh-island effect without prosody, based on the result of acceptability judgment tasks.