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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2019, Vol. 50, No. 3, Pages 630-647
(doi: 10.1162/ling_a_00318)
© 2019 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Meaning and Prosody of Wh-Indeterminates in Korean
Article PDF (136.1 KB)
Abstract

This article presents an experiment investigating the relative contribution of two different prosodic properties to the interpretation and scope configuration of wh-indeterminates in Korean. The experiment shows that it is prosodic phrasing after the wh-indeterminate that determines whether it is interpreted as interrogative or indefinite. Prosodic prominence on the wh-indeterminate does not contribute to such a distinction; rather, it increases the possibility of a wide scope reading. The results support the theory that prosodic phrasing is crucial in forming wh-questions, and call for consideration of the influence of prosody on scope-taking properties of wh-indefinites.