The aim of this article is to shed some light on the tense effect on LF movement of wh-in-situ in Hindi-Urdu. Although these languages lack syntactic wh-movement, wh-interrogatives are not allowed to appear in tensed islands, while they are allowed in untensed ones. This is contrary to what is generally known about wh-in-situ in English, which does not obey Subjacency. This tense effect is provided with a desirable account on the basis of Generalized Binding theory and by assuming a parameter of Hindi-Urdu that tensed C qualifies as a SUBJECT. A wh-trace (an A'-anaphor) must be A'-bound by its antecedent in its binding domain, which is tensed CP, not tenseless CP. When the specifier position of tensed CP is occupied by some element such as a relative pronoun and the antecedent of a trace is not allowed to occur in the clause, the trace is not A'-bound in its domain, violating Condition (A) of generalized binding. Hence interrogatives are excluded from tensed relative and adjunct clauses, resulting in the tense effect. Our analysis also accounts for the fact that wh-in-situ is insensitive to other island conditions and lacks subject-object asymmetries. We also show that the Empty Category Principle and Subjacency at LF do not provide a satisfactory account for the tense effect.
The Linguistic Society of Japan