Volume 1996 (1996) Issue 109 Pages 49-93
The purpose of this article is to elucidate the nature of scope-marking questions in Hindi-Urdu. Chomsky (1993) proposes within a minimalist program that a wh-operator cross-linguistically moves in overt syntax. Based on this proposal, we claim that the overt movement of a null operator for a wh-phrase in Hindi is both partial and multiple: it raises more than one null operator only to the Spec of the closest tensed CP that could be different from its actual scope position. There are some pieces of evidence in favor of the existence of such movement. Thus, a null operator moved constitutes an island for scrambling (Wh-Island effects) and rightward scrambling blocks null operator movement (Freezing effects). Although wh-in-situ in a tensed CP cannot be assigned scope over higher clauses, an operation of inserting a scope marker KYA in such clauses allows the wh-in-situ to take wider scope. The partial movement of a null operator is driven by the morphological necessity that is associated with KYA-insertion: a verb in a clause where KYA is inserted selects a [ + wh] CP, whose head contains a strong operator-feature that must be checked off via the overt partial movement of a null operator. The partially moved null operator is unselectively bound by the scope-marker at LF and then can extend its scope over higher clauses. We thus characterize Hindi-Urdu as a partial wh-movement language on a par with German, Romani and Iraqi Arabic.