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Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session

Abstract

Yes/No questions, Wh-questions, and embedded questions in Ocotepec Mixtec are described and analyzed within the Government and Binding framework. Questions involving prepositional phrases are unique in that the whole prepositional phrase must be fronted and then the question word is subsequently fronted again. Similar inversion occurs when a possessive phrase is questioned. Smith Stark (1988) documents this phenomenon as occurring across language families throughout Meso-America. Aissen (1996) analyzes it for Tzotzil, a VOS language, as secondary movement to the specifier of PP or DP. This analysis is not possible for Mixtec, a VSO language, so I posit adjunction to the moved phrase, following Black (1994) for Zapotec.

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