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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2017, Vol. 48, No. 1, Pages 159-172
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00238)
© 2017 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Does Hindi-Urdu Have Feature-Driven Wh-Movement to Spec,vP?
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Manetta (2010) argues that Hindi-Urdu has feature-driven overt wh-movement to Spec,vP, a position from which wh-expressions can take clausal scope. This is argued to provide a unified account of the following aspects of question formation in the language: the tendency of wh-expressions to occur in preverbal position, the possibility of overt long wh-movement, and the use of scope marking to question out of finite complements. Here, I first probe some hidden assumptions in Manetta’s account, revealing crucial gaps in the argumentation. I then discuss new facts, as well as some old ones, that challenge central components of the proposal. As a whole, the discussion establishes that the move to capture question formation in Hindi-Urdu through wh-movement to Spec,vP does not deliver the promised results.