This paper argues that there are three complementizers que ‘that’ in French, the distinction between which is disguised by the fact that they are all phonetically realized as /kə/. Each complementizer has a different feature composition contingent on the selecting context (veridical/non-veridical). I draw a parallelism between wh-elements and the complementizer que ‘that’, and show that que ‘that’ has different properties sensitive to quantificational features, along the lines of Starke (2001). More precisely, que ‘that’ can have a “bigger” or a “smaller” feature structure (regardless of the clause structure) depending on the selecting environment it appears in (i.e. veridical, non-veridical). This property interacts with extraction phenomena under Relativized Minimality (RM) (Rizzi 2004), provided that RM is understood as a constraint on (a hierarchically organized bundle of) features rather than “structural type”, and thus accounts for the difference in extraction possibilities for wh-items from the different types of que-clauses. My proposal is extended to Modern Greek.
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