The functional nature of multiple wh- free relative clauses

Ivano Caponigro, Anamaria Fălăuş


Multiple wh‑ free relative clauses are not only less attested cross-linguistically and have been much less studied than other types of clauses, but are also particularly puzzling. Focusing on multiple wh- free relative clauses in Romanian, we show that, despite being true free relative clauses, standard semantic analyses of free relative clauses with just a single wh-phrase (Jacobson 1995, Dayal 1996, Caponigro 2003, 2004) cannot be straightforwardly extended to multiple wh‑ free relative clauses. We propose a solution to this puzzle by providing the first compositional analysis of multiple wh‑ free relative clauses, which builds on previous work on single wh‑ free relative clauses and functional readings in interrogative and relative clauses.

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