Construing WH

  • Taisuke Nishigauchi
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 37)


The purpose of the present chapter is to discuss the status of wh-phrases as quantificational expressions. In particular, we will address the question of how the wh-expression should be characterized in terms of its quantificational force. We will see that the syntactic and semantic behavior of constructions in Japanese involving the class of words which Kuroda (1965) very pertinently referred to as ‘indeterminate pronominals’ provides an interesting insight to the issue at hand. The ‘indeterminate pronominals’ essentially correspond to wh-expressions.1


Relative Clause Matrix Clause Existential Quantifier Quantificational Expression Quantificational Force 
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  1. 1.
    The attitude represented by Kuroda’s terminology, which carefully avoids identifying wh’s as ‘interrogative pronominals’, appears to be widespread among the traditional Japanese grammarians. Cf. Onoe (1983), for example.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Previous work that discusses constructions exemplified by (3a-d) includes Kuroda (1965), Ohno (1984), Hoji (1985).Google Scholar
  3. 25.
    See fa. 3.Google Scholar
  4. 26.
    This distinction in terms of the interrogative marker, though, appears to be independent of the D-/non-D-linked interpretation. That is to say, there are wh-questions ending in no ka which are not D-linked. Cf. Kuno and Masunaga (1986).Google Scholar
  5. 30.
    For discussion, cf. Saito (1982).Google Scholar
  6. 31.
    Also Cf. Kuroda (1986).Google Scholar
  7. 37.
    See fn. 15.Google Scholar
  8. 40.
    For more on this, cf. Hoji (1985).Google Scholar
  9. 41.
    According to May’s (1985) definition of dominate, which is subsumed under his notion of c-command, a maximal projection X dominates a node Y only if every segment of X dominates Y. If the node in question is one created by adjunction, that node does not dominate Y in the sense just defined.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taisuke Nishigauchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Language and CultureOsaka UniversityJapan

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