Wh-movement—the phenomenon by which interrogative words appear at the beginning of interrogative sentences—is one of the central displacement operations of human language. Noam Chomsky's 1977 paper "On Wh-Movement," a landmark in the study of wh-movement (and movement in general), showed that this computational operation is the basis of a variety of syntactic constructions that had previously been described in terms of construction-specific rules. Taking Chomsky's article as a starting point, the contributors to this collection reconsider a number of the issues raised in "On Wh-Movement" from the perspective of contemporary Minimalist syntactic theory (which explores the thesis that human language is a system optimally designed to meet certain interface conditions imposed by other cognitive systems with which the language faculty interacts). They discuss such wh-movement issues as wh-phrases and pied-piping, the formation of A-bar chains and the copy theory of movement, cyclicity and locality of wh-movement, and the typology of wh-constructions. By reconsidering core characteristics of the wh-movement operation first systematically discussed by Chomsky from the Minimalist perspective, this volume contributes to the further development of the theory of wh-movement and to the general theory of movement.
Contributors: Brian Agbayani, Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng, Sandra Chung, Norbert Corver, Caterina Donati, Kleanthes K. Grohmann, Toru Ishii, Heejeong Ko, Howard Lasnik, Philip LeSourd, Chris H. Reintges, Luigi Rizzi, Balázs Surányi, Akira Watanabe, Henrietta Yang