Author Topic: Echo Questions  (Read 887 times)

Offline binumal

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Echo Questions
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:25:06 PM »
Look at the following sentence
Who did Ram see?
This can be paraphrased like this, isn't it?- Which x is such that Ram saw x
If so, what about the following echo question?
Ram saw who(m?)- can this be paraphrased in the above manner?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Echo Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 04:03:50 PM »
The paraphrase would be the same. The syntax varies, but the semantic structure does not.

For languages that have in-situ Wh-words (or for echo questions), some have argued that semantically there is "covert movement" meaning that the Wh-word is fronted semantically (post-syntactically) in order to achieve the right binding/hierarchy. It's an odd (and undesirable) solution, but the arguments make some sense, actually intuitively because of the paraphrase as you show.
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Offline binumal

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Re: Echo Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 09:57:20 PM »
That generalization does not hold for some languages,including Malayalam a wh-in situ languages.This language has a different way to express echo questions. The language do differentiate the two

Offline Daniel

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Re: Echo Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 12:40:20 AM »
Does it differentiate them semantically as well as syntactically? I'm not sure what that would look like.
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Offline binumal

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Re: Echo Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 12:55:56 PM »
Does it differentiate them semantically as well as syntactically? I'm not sure what that would look like.
Imagine a language which has a question particle that mark interrogatives in addition to an in situ Wh-phrase.What reading would we get if we skip the question particle? Wouldn' t it sound like an echo question? It happens in  some (if not all)spoken varieties of  Malayalam,many spoken varieties in the language  use a particle (e(e)) attatched to the main verb, if this question particle is not pronounced the utterance get an echo-question (like) interpretation....... Not requesting for information,but seeking confirmation of an information- isnt that the property of  an echo-question?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Echo Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 06:04:01 PM »
I'm still not sure I understand. Echo questions are Wh-questions that function like yes/no questions, true. But I'm not sure where there's room for a third type. Feel free to give some examples (minimal pairs style would help).
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