The closeness constraint on focus association and the syntax of Q-particles
Keywords:Sinhala, focus, wh-questions, Q-particles, degree questions, phase
While in some languages focus association at a distance is possible, in some languages, focus particles must be as close to their associates as possible. In this paper, I argue that the closeness constraint is attested also in wh-questions. The evidence comes from Sinhala (Indo-Aryan) wh-questions, in which the Q-particle is restricted to positions that are as close to the wh-word as possible. I show that this constraint poses challenges for the existing analyses of Sinhala wh-questions, and present a new account under which the Q-particle undergoes phase-constrained overt movement.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.