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Revisiting the lack of verbal wh-words

Aritz Irurtzun

I propose that the cross-linguistic lack of verbal wh-words derives from the illformed logical form (LF) representations they would generate: verbs are predicates of eventualities and predication (≈logical attribution) and questioning are incompatible. I revisit the literature on interrogative pro-verbs arguing that there are no genuine interrogative verbs unrestrictedly ranging over any eventuality type. Last, I argue that my proposal also predicts the universal lack of other conceivable interrogative elements such as adpositions or tense markers.

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