Ed. by Plank, Frans
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More on the indefinite-interrogative affinity: The view from embedded non-finite interrogatives
German disallows embedded infinitival (wh-)interrogatives. Although cross-linguistic comparison has not been undertaken to any broader extent, most accounts attribute this gap to properties of complementizers and the C-system. By contrast, this gap will here be linked to a correlation between non-finite (wh-)interrogatives and the indefinite-interrogative affinity present in the inventory of wh-pronouns of many languages. The claim will be defended that, if a language has embedded non-finite (wh-)interrogatives, then its pronominal system does not have a robust indefinite/interrogative ambiguity. In addition to a crosslinguistic survey, it will be sketched – with particular reference to German – how to relate these two domains in terms of clausal typing and the illocutionary force of non-finite (root) interrogatives.
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