Subjacency effects on overt wh-movement in wh-in-situ languages: Evidence for nominal structure

Keunhyung Park, Stanley Dubinsky


This paper investigates whether overt wh-movement in Korean, a wh-in-situ language, triggers Subjacency violations in the same set of bounding configurations as English. Yoon (2013) and Jung (2015) showed that Korean wh-islands display Subjacency effects, and we ask whether the Complex NP and Coordinate Structure Constraints are also observed. We find that they are not. We propose that this is because Korean nominal expressions need not project DP. Our analysis supports previous accounts of Korean nominal structure (Kim et al. 2010), which suggest (based on optionality of determiners) that “Korean NP structure is non-configurational or lacks the category D.”


syntax; Korean; English; wh-in-situ; overt movement; Subjacency; Empty Category Principle; Complex NP Constraint; Coordinate Structure Constraint

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