So Young Lee & Joanne Chau

Stony Brook University
Talk Title: 
Wh-scope in Kyeongsang Korean / Turkish Focus Question Morpheme -mI
Event Type: 
Brown Bag Talk
Spring 2016
Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
SBS S-207 (Linguistics Seminar Room)

This semester's second Brown Bag features two talks, which will be given by So Young Lee and Joanne Chau. Below are the abstracts of the talks.


So Young Lee 

Title: The influence of intonation, sentence-final particles, and surface syntactic position of the wh-phrase on wh-scope in Kyeongsang Korean

This paper aims to investigate the influence of intonation, sentence-final particles, and the surface syntactic position of the wh-phrase on wh-scope in Korean as in (1).

   (1) John-un      [Mary-ka         nwukwu-lul     mannassnun-ci]           mwuless-eo?

         John-Top   [Mary-Nom      who-Acc         met-Comp]                 asked?

          a. Embedded clause scope reading: ‘Did John ask who Mary met t?’    

          b. Matrix clause scope reading: ‘Who did John ask whether Mary met t?’

We conducted a perception test which consisted of a forced choice task and an acceptability judgment task. Four sets of fully crossed stimuli (2x2x2=8 types) were utilized in the tests.

The results show that the sentence-final particle plays a decisive role on a wh-scope in most cases. However, when both intonation and the syntactic position indicate a matrix scope reading, the role of the sentence-final particle is not decisive. This study confirms the more recent argument that the wh-island constraint is violable in Korean, when a sentence-final particle, intonation, and/or scrambling indicate or create a bias to the violation. The sentence-final particle is the most influential factor, but the combination of wh-phrase scrambling and prosodic information may override the influence of the sentence-final particle.
Joanne Chau
The mysterious -mI: A syntactic analysis of the Turkish Focus Question Morpheme -mI
Yes no questions in Turkish are achieved through the usage of a focus question morpheme, -mI. Unlike English, where reordering of the sentence is required for emphasis on the part of the sentence in questioned, -mI attaches to the constituent being questioned.My paper argues that a C[+Q] feature is needed for -mI. And this argument is verified through different syntactic tests.