Wh Movement - wh תזוזת

Prof. Yehuda N. Falk
Office 7812
Office Hours: Sundays / Wednesdays 11:30-12:15 (see announcement)

Year-long 2007-8 Tuesday 8:30-10 Room 2801
MA Course, English Department, Linguistics Stream

It is often thought that wh constructions are evidence that syntactic theory must allow displacement (movement). In this course, we will examine the properties of these constructions in a theoretical framework without the device of movement.

Course Outline

    Semester A

  1. Overview: "Wh Movement" Constructions and Properties
  2. Multifunctionality
    1. Wh and Grammatical Functions [Kaplan and Zaenen 1989 "LDDs, Const Struc, & Fctl Uncertainty." (pp. 17-25)]
    2. LFG Formalization [Falk 2001 Lexical-Functional Grammar (pp. 149-156)]
  3. Movement/Displacement
    1. The Myth of Displacement [Falk (in prep)]
    2. Pervasiveness of Displacement [Sag and Wasow 1999 (Chapt. 15)]
    3. Problems with Movement: Resumptive Pronouns, Parasitic Gaps, "In-Situ" [Mycock 2005 in LFG Conference Proceedings]
  4. The Wh Path: Path Phenomena [Zaenen 1983 LI]
  5. Scope Marking ("Partial Movement") Constructions [Mycock 2004 in LFG Conference Proceedings]

    Semester B (approximate/tentative)

  6. Empty Categories
    1. Empty Categories and Non-Transformational Syntax [Jackendoff 1975 LI ("Tough and ..."); Sag & Fodor 1994 WCCFL]
    2. Wanna Contraction: The Empty Category Analysis [Jaeggli 1980 LI]
    3. Subject Sharing [Postal & Pullum 1982 LI]
    4. Lexical Analysis [Pullum 1997 Language]
    5. The Empty Category Analysis Again [Falk 2007 in LFG 07 Conference Proceedings]
  7. Islands
    1. Standard LFG View [Dalrymple 2001 Chapter 14]
    2. Extra-Syntactic Factors [Erteschik-Shir & Lappin 1979 Theoretical Linguistics; and others TBA]
    3. The Necessity of Syntax (see Final Project)
    4. Formal Mechanisms (see Final Project)

Course requirements

Final project; the reading is here
for students taking the course as a seminar: Seminar Paper

Handouts available for downloading in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format

Note: If these don't print correctly on your printer but display properly in Acrobat, try using the "Print as image" option in Acrobat.

Syllabus (22 January)
Bibliography, Semester A (22 January)
"Wh Movement" Constructions (22 January)
Wh and Grammatical Functions (29 January)
A Formal Account (5 February)
Wh-Movement as Movement (4 March)
Phrase Structure Grammar (11 March)
One Filler, Two Gaps (18 March)
Resumptive Pronouns (18 March)
"In-Situ" (25 March)
Wh Path Phenomena (13 May)
Scope Marking (27 May)
Wanna Contraction (10 June)


This year's LFG conference was held at the University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 4-6 July 2008. See the web site.

The new schedule for the school year:

For the beginning of second semester (11 May), please do the Zaenen and Dalrymple readings on path phenomena.

As of Sunday, 6 July, I will not be holding office hours in my sauna office. I will be available on Sundays and Wednesdays 11:00-12:00 on the 4th floor of the library. Look for me along the windows nearest the bathrooms.


Assigned 22 January for 29 January: Kaplan, Ronald M. and Annie Zaenen (1989) "Long-Distance Dependencies,Constituent Structure, and Functional Uncertainty." in Mark R. Baltin and Anthony S. Kroch, eds., Alternative Conceptions of Phrase Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 17-42. Read pp. 17-25 only.

Assigned 29 January for preliminary reading by 5 February: Falk, Yehuda N. (2001) Lexical-Functional Grammar: An Introduction to Parallel Constraint-Based Syntax. Stanford, Calif.: CSLI Publications. Read pp. 149-156 only.

Assigned 4 March for 11 March:

Assigned 18 March for 25 March: Mycock, Louise (2005) "'Wh'-in-Situ in Constituent Questions." in Miriam Butt and Tracy Holloway King, ed., Proceedings of the LFG 05 Conference, University of Bergen. Online: CSLI Publications. 313-333.

Assigned 1 April for 13 May

Assigned 20 May for 27 May: Mycock, Louise (2004) "The Wh-Expletive Construction." in Miriam Butt and Tracy Holloway King, eds., Proceedings of the LFG 04 Conference, University of Canterbury. On-line.: CSLI Publications. 370-90. http://cslipublications.stanford.edu/LFG/9/lfg04.html.

Assigned 27 May for 3 June:

Assigned 3 June for 10 June: Jaeggli, Osvaldo (1980) "Remarks on to Contraction." Linguistic Inquiry 11: 239-45.

Assigned 10 June for 17 June: Postal, Paul M. and Geoffrey K. Pullum (1982) "The Contraction Debate." Linguistic Inquiry 13: 122-38.

Assigned 17 June for 24 June: Bouchard, Denis (1984) On the Content of Empty Categories. Dordrecht: Foris. Read pp. 47-51

Assigned 24 June for 1 July: Pullum, Geoffrey K. (1997) "The Morpholexical Nature of English to Contraction." Language 73: 79-102.

Assigned 1 July for 8 July: Falk, Yehuda N. (2007) "Do We Wanna (or Hafta) Have Empty Categories?" in Miriam Butt and Tracy Holloway King, eds., Proceedings of LFG07. On-line.: CSLI Publication. 184-97.

Assigned 15 July for 22 July:

Assigned 22 July for 29 July: Erteschik-Shir, Nomi and Shalom Lappin (1979) "Dominance and the Functional Explanation of Island Phenomena." Theoretical Linguistics 6: 41-86.