The superiority effect in Albanian multiple wh-movement structures

Run Chen


This study examines the order of wh-phrases in Albanian multiple wh-questions. Despite SVO and OVS orders, I argue that Albanian wh-movement displays the superiority effect, through a mechanism generating a rightmost highest specifier. OVS order constructions are subject to the haplology effect and word order freezing, showing the presence of a multiple wh-fronting step in the derivation. The study highlights a general observation concerning opacity and the cross-linguistic wh-question environment. Linear order does not reveal hierarchical structure, as a typically leftmost wh-phrase is pronounced rightmost. This rightward wh-movement analysis may explain future findings of languages claimed to not display the superiority effect.


Albanian; superiority effect; wh-movement; wh-fronting; haplology effect; word order freezing

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Copyright (c) 2020 Run Chen

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