The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 19, No. 4, pp.644-667
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2019
Received 26 Nov 2019 Revised 21 Dec 2019 Accepted 31 Dec 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15738/kjell.19.4.201912.644

A Semantic Account of Matrix Scope of a wh-phrase in a wh-island in Korean and English

Hae-Kyung Wee
Dankook University

Abstract

This study investigates possibility of matrix scope interpretation of a wh-phrase occurring in a wh-island clause, with two types of predicates in Korean, i.e., alta ‘know’ and kwungkumhata ‘wonder’, in comparison to its English counterpart where a wh-phrase is extracted from a wh-island. It is shown that i) in the out-of-the-blue context, alta does not readily allow matrix scope of an embedded wh-phrase in Korean whereas know allows extraction of a wh-phrase out of the embedded wh-clause in English, but in a proper context, Korean also allows a wh-phrase to have the matrix scope interpretation just like English, ii) different acceptabilities of the interrogatives with a degree wh-phrase occurring in a wh-island with these two verbs in Korean can be accounted for by the semantic analysis proposed for English by Abrusan (2014), which is based on different satisfactions of exhaustifiability conditions resulting from different semantic properties of the two verbs, and iii) due to different semantic and presuppositional properties of know and wonder, know more strictly prohibits a wh-phrase from having the matrix scope out of an embedded wh-clause than wonder not only for degree wh-phrases but also for non-degree wh-phrases.

Keywords:

wh-island, scope ambiguity, scope of wh-phrase, strong exhaustivity, responsive verb, rogative verb, semantics of embedded question, degree wh-question

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Global Research Network program through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-Project number).(NRF-2019S1A2A2031915)

I am grateful to Myung-Kwan Park for initiating research on the scope ambiguities of wh-island-internal wh-phrases occurring in Korean Kyengsang dialects with different types of question embedding predicates and suggesting possble approaches for this issue. I also appreciate valuable comments of the reviewers. All errors and fallacies are of course my own.

References

  • Abrusán, M. 2014. Weak Island Semantics. Oxford University Press.. [https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199639380.001.0001]
  • Berman, S.1991, The Semantics of Open Sentences. Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts. Distributed by GLSA, UMass-Amherst (reprinted in 1994 in the Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics Series by Garland Publishing Inc., NY)..
  • Choe, H. S. 1995. Focus and topic movement in Korean and licensing. In K. E. Kiss, eds., Discourse Configurational Languages, 269-334. New York: Oxford University Press..
  • Ciardelli, I. and F. Roelofsen. 2015. Inquisitive dynamic epistemic logic. Synthese 192-6, 1643–1687.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-014-0404-7]
  • Cresti, D. 1995. Extraction and reconstruction. Natural Language Semantics 3-1, 79–122. doi:10.1007/BF01252885. [https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01252885]
  • Dayal, Veneeta. 1996. Locality in Wh-quantification. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-4808-5]
  • Deguchi, M. and K. Yoshihisa. 2002. Prosody and wh-questions. Proceedings of the Thirty-second Annual Meeting of the North-Eastern Linguistics Society, 73-92..
  • Fox, D. and H. Martin. 2007. The universal density of measurement. Linguistics and Philosophy 29, 537-586.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-006-9004-4]
  • Fox, D. 2007. Too many alternatives: Density, symmetry and other predicaments. In M. Gibson and T. Friedman, eds., Proceedings of SALT 17, 89–111. Ithaca, N.Y.: CLC Publications.. [https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v17i0.2967]
  • Griffiths, J. and A. Liptak. 2014. Contrast and island sensitivity in clausal ellipsis. Syntax 17-3, 189-234.. [https://doi.org/10.1111/synt.12018]
  • Groenendijk, J. and M. Stokhof. 1984. Studies on the Semantics of Questions and the Pragmatics of Answers. Doctoral dissertation, University of Amsterdam..
  • Guerzoni, E. and Y. Sharvit. 2004. A question of strength: On NPIs in interrogative clauses. Linguistics and Philosophy 30-3. 361-391.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-007-9014-x]
  • Heim, Irene. 1994. Interrogative semantics and Karttunen’s semantics for know. In R. Buchalla and A. Mittwoch, eds., IATL 1, Akademon, Jerusalem, 128–144. Retrieved from http://semanticsarchive.net/Archive/jUzYjk1O.
  • Heim, I. and A. Kratzer. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Hintikka, J. 1976. The Semantics of Questions and the Questions of Semantics: Case Studies in the Interrelations of Logic, Syntax, and Semantics. Acta Philosophica Fennica Vol. 28, No. 4..
  • Kitagawa, Y. 2005. Prosody, syntax and pragmatics of wh-questions in Japanese. English Linguistics 22, 302-346.. [https://doi.org/10.9793/elsj1984.22.302]
  • Kitagawa, Y. and D. J. Fodor. 2003. Default prosody explains neglected syntactic analyses of Japanese. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 12, 267-279..
  • Lahiri, U. 2002. Questions and an Answers in Embedded Contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press..
  • May, R. 1985. Logical Form: Its Structure and Derivation. Cambridge: MIT Press..
  • Nishigauchi, T. 1990. Quantification in the Theory of Grammar. Kluwer.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1972-3]
  • Nishigauchi, T. 1999. Quantification and wh-constructions. In N. Tsujimura, ed., A Handbook of Japanese Linguistics, 268-296. New York: Blackwell..
  • Park, M. and H. Wee. 2019. Interpretive WH-scoping determines WH-Q agreement on question-embedding predicates. Poster-presented at Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics 15 (Lomonosov Moscow State University)..
  • Rullmann, H. 1995. Maximality in the Semantics of wh-constructions. Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst..
  • Spector, B., and Egré, P. 2015. A uniform semantics for embedded interrogatives: An answer, not necessarily the answer. Synthese 192-6, 1729–1784.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-015-0722-4]
  • Szabolcsi, Anna. ed. 1997. Ways of Scope Taking. Dordrecht: Kluwer.. [https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-5814-5]
  • Theiler, N., F. Roelofsen and M. Aloni. 2018. A uniform semantics for declarative and interrogative complements. Journal of Semantics 35, 409–466.. [https://doi.org/10.1093/jos/ffy003]
  • Uegaki, W. 2015. Interpreting Questions under Attitudes. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology..
  • Uegaki, Wataru. 2019. The semantics of question-embedding predicates. Language and Linguistics Compass 13-1, 1-17.. [https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12308]
  • Uegaki, W. and Y. Sudo. 2017. The anti-rogativity of non-veridical preferential predicates. In Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2017..
  • Watanabe, A. 1992. Wh-in-situ, subjacency, and chain formation, MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics 2..

Hae-Kyung WeeProfessor, Dankook UniversityEmail: hkwee@dankook.ac.kr