The closeness constraint on focus association and the syntax of Q-particles


  • Muyi Yang University of Connecticut



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.

Author Biography

  • Muyi Yang, University of Connecticut
    Department of Linguistics




How to Cite

Yang, Muyi. 2022. “The Closeness Constraint on Focus Association and the Syntax of Q-Particles”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 7 (1): 5291.