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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2003, Vol. 34, No. 1, Pages 127-142
(doi: 10.1162/002438903763255940)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Obligatory Overt Wh-Movement in a Wh-in-Situ Language
Article PDF (87.07 KB)

Bangla has commonly been assumed to be an SOV wh-in-situ language. Here it is suggested that both of these characterizations are incorrect and that Bangla actually has obligatory overt wh-movement from a basic SVO word order. This is disguised by a conspiracy of factors but revealed in restrictions on wh-scope and certain apparently optional word order possibilities with complement clauses. Adopting a different perspective on the SOV status of Bangla allows for a simple explanation of the patterns observed and raises the possibility that other “wh-in-situ” languages may also have (obligatory) overt wh-movement.