Optional wh-movement is discourse-connected movement in Eastern Cham

Kenneth Baclawski Jr.


Eastern Cham (Austronesian: Vietnam) exhibits apparent optional wh-movement, which shares properties with apparent topicalization. This paper demonstrates that it is not true wh-movement, but discourse connected-, or DC-movement. DC requires a phrase to have an antecedent in a prior sentence and for the antecedent's sentence and the anaphor's sentence to be in a particular discourse structural configuration. Data from complex DP's, specifically partitives, inventory forms, and close appositives demonstrate that DC is a property of referential indices that bind DP's. The incompatibility of wh-phrases and topicality is then explained as the inability of wh-phrases to supply referential indices on their own.


wh-movement; information structure; pragmatics; Austronesian; Southeast Asian languages

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v4i1.4544

Copyright (c) 2019 Kenneth Baclawski Jr.

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