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Title: The Syntactic Structure of Russian WH--Questions
Authors: Rojina, Nina
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Balto-Slavic Languages
Slavic Languages
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Université de Genève
Abstract: The goal of this dissertation is to address a number of issues involving the syntactic structure of Russian wh-questions. The dissertation proposes a comparative analysis of wh-questions in Slavic languages along the lines of current Minimalist guidelines. This work offers a different perspective on the syntactic structure of Russian wh-questions. Russian, being a multiple wh-fronting language, has been considered by a number of linguists (among others Bošković, 1997, 1998a; Stepanov, 1997) as a language without an overt wh-movement to the left periphery and a language not exhibiting Superiority effects in all contexts. The comparative analysis offered in this work suggests the opposite. The data presented in this dissertation clearly demonstrate overt movement of a wh-phrase to the [Spec;CP], as well as the presence of Superiority effects in Russian. The dissertation adopts the Cartographic approach to the syntactic analysis of wh-phrases in Russian; the underlying idea of which is to draw maps as precise and detailed as possible of syntactic configurations (Rizzi, 1997, 2001, 2002). The theoretical implications and predictions related to wh-movement in multiple wh-fronting languages are outlined and analysed in this dissertation, leading towards an analysis of multiple wh-questions in Russian. Before going into the analysis of wh-questions, it is necessary to outline the ideas that underlie the present dissertation which studies the syntax of Russian wh-questions on a comparative basis with other multiple wh-fronting languages, with Bulgarian essentially.
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