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11.3.1.2. Wh-extraction from embedded clauses (long wh-movement)
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This section discusses a special case of wh-extraction, which we will refer to as long wh-movement. This type of wh-movement is special in that it is apparently unbounded: it may cross an in principle indefinite number of clausal boundaries (although in actual fact the number is of course limited for practical reasons). We illustrate this in (181): in (181a) and (181b) wh-movement crosses, respectively, one and two clausal boundaries.

Example 181
a. Wati zegt Marie [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
  what  says  Marie    that  Peter  bought  has
  'What does Marie say that Peter has bought?'
b. Wati denkt Jan [dat Marie zegt [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]]?
  what  think  Jan   that  Marie says   that  Peter  bought  has
  'What do you think that Marie says that Peter has bought?'

Long-distance dependencies of the type in (181) apparently go against the general finding in generative grammar that syntactic dependencies are local, which can normally be taken to mean at least "clause-bound". There is, however, reason for assuming that wh-movement in (181) does not apply in one fell swoop, but in a so-called cyclic fashion; see Chomsky (1973), and Boeckx (2008) for a more recent discussion. The derivation thus proceeds as indicated in (182): the wh-phrase wat is first moved into the initial position of its own clause (the first cycle), from where is it subsequently moved on into the clause-initial position of the next higher clause (the second cycle), etc. The primed traces in (182) indicate all intermediate landing sites of the wh-phrase and show that all individual movements are local, provided that we assume that the initial position of a clause functions as an "escape hatch" for the wh-phrase.

Example 182
a. Wati zegt Marie [t'i dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
  what  says  Marie  that  Peter  bought  has
  'What does Marie say that Peter has bought?'
b. Wati denkt Jan [t''i dat Marie zegt [t'i dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]]?
  what  thinks  Jan  that  Marie says  that  Peter  bought  has
  'What do you think that Marie says that Peter has bought?'

Despite the fact that long wh-movement can be broken up in smaller, local movement steps, we will follow general practice in using the notion of long wh-movement as a convenient descriptive term for wh-extraction from embedded clauses. For convenience, we will often omit the intermediate (primed) traces from our structural representations if they are not relevant for our discussion.
      Long wh-movement is a severely restricted phenomenon subject to various stringent conditions, subsection I starts by showing that this does not hold for the wh-moved phrase itself: the same set of elements allowing local wh-movement may undergo long wh-movement. If long wh-movement consists of a sequence of local movement steps, this is of course expected, subsection II will show, however, that there are some more or lesss concealed issues with long wh-movement of subjects, which are related to the so-called complementizer-trace filter, subsections III and IV continue to show that there are constraints on the embedded clause from which wh-movement takes place as well as the matrix verb, subsection V provides a brief comparison of long wh-movement with other strategies to establish "long" wh-dependencies, which can be found in certain dialects of Dutch as well as German. Since Subsections I-V are only concerned with finite clauses, Subsection VI concludes with a discussion of long wh-movement from infinitival clauses; such cases have received much less attention in the literature, but are interesting in their own right because they have a number of special properties.

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[+]  I.  Restrictions on the moved element

Long wh-movement does not seem to differ from local wh-movement when it comes to the syntactic functions of the moved elements. The examples in (183) show that it may affect clausal constituents of all types: argument, complementive and adjunct. Just as in the case of local wh-movement, the only requirement seems to be that an interrogative form is available. Recall that we will leave out the intermediate trace in the clause-initial position of the embedded clause if this is not immediately relevant for our discussion. Note that the wh-phrase wanneer'when' in (183d) can also be construed as a modifier of the matrix-clause, but this is of course not the reading intended here.

Example 183
a. Wiei zei/dacht je [dat ti dat boek gekocht had]?
subject
  who  said/thought  you   that  that book  bought  has
  'Who did you say/think had bought that book.'
b. Wati zei/dacht je [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
object
  what  said/thought  you   that  Peter  bought  has
  'What did you say/think that Peter has bought?'
c. Hoe oudi zei/dacht je [dat dit fossiel ti was]?
complementive
  how old  said/thought  you  that  this fossil  was
  'How old did you say/think that this fossil was?'
d. Wanneeri zei/dacht je [dat Peter ti vertrokken was]?
adjunct
  when  said/thought  you   that  Peter  left  had
  'When do you say/think that Peter had left?'

The examples in (184) further show that long wh-movement is not confined to clausal constituents but may also be applied to wh-elements embedded in clausal constituents (provided that local wh-movement also allows stranding). We illustrate this in (184) by means of, respectively, an interrogative modifier of an adjectival complementive and a split wat voor-phrase in (184b).

Example 184
a. Hoe zwaari denk je [dat Jan [AP ti verslaafd] is]?
  how heavily  think you   that  Jan  addicted  is
  'How severely addicted do you think that Jan is?'
b. Wati denk je [dat Peter [NPti voor een boeken] gekocht heeft]?
  what  think  you   that  Peter  for a books  bought  has
  'What kind of books do you think that Peter has bought?'
[+]  II.  Complementizer-trace effects

The examples discussed in the previous subsection suggest that long wh-movement does not impose any special conditions on the syntactic function of the moved element. It is nevertheless necessary to say more about long wh-movement of subjects given that it triggers special effects in various languages. This is illustrated for English in the examples in (185), which show that long wh-movement of subjects but not of objects requires omission of the complementizer that. Chomsky & Lasnik (1977) exclude the configuration [... [C that] ti ...] by means of the so-called that-trace filter, but since it is possible to find similar facts in languages other than English, we will use the more general term complementizer-trace filter.

Example 185
a. Whoi do you think [(*that) tiwill read the letter]?
subject
b. Whati do you think [(that) John will do ti]?
object

Long wh-movement of subjects also triggers a special effect in French. The translation of (185a) in (186a) shows that the subject trace cannot occur if the declarative complementizer appears in its regular form, que, but requires it to surface as qui; cf. Kayne (1976). Example (186b) further shows that this que/qui alternation does not apply in the case of long wh-movement of, e.g., an object.

Example 186
a. Quii crois-tu [qui/*que ti lira la lettre]?
subject
  who think-you   that/that  readfuture  the letter
  'Who do you think will read the letter?'
b. Quei crois-tu [que/*qui Jean fera ti]?
object
  what  think-you  that/that Jean  dofuture
  'What do you think that Jean will do?'

The Dutch translations of the examples in (185)/(186) in the primeless examples in (187) suggest that the subject-object asymmetry found in English and French does not occur in Standard Dutch, as they are both fully acceptable; cf. Dekkers (1999). It seems that for at least some speakers the question as to whether the subject-object asymmetry shows up depends on the type of interrogative noun phrase: while non-D-linked subject pronouns such as wie'who' in (187a) easily allow long wh-movement without any special ado, D-linked subjects such as welke jongen'which boy' in (187a') are marked (but certainly not ungrammatical) for such speakers.

Example 187
a. Wiei denk je [dat ti de brief zal lezen]?
subject
  who  think  you  that  the letter  will  read
  'Who do you think will read the letter?'
a'. ? Welke jongeni denk je [dat ti de brief zal lezen]?
subject
  which boy  think you  that  the letter  will  read
  'Which boy do you think will read the letter?'
b. Wati denk je [dat Jan ti zal doen]?
object
  what  think  you  that  Jan  will  do
  'What do you think that Jan will do?'

A possible reason for the difference in acceptability of the two (a)-examples may be that, despite appearances, the traces of the two wh-phrases do not occupy the same position in the clause. We will first illustrate the difference in location by means of the examples in (188) and (189) without a definite object. The examples in (188) show that long wh-movement of wie requires the presence of the expletive er'there'; long wh-movement of welke jongen is severely degraded if er is not present and again marked for some speakers with er present.

Example 188
a. Wiei denk je [dat *(er) ti gelogen heeft]?
  who  think  you  that  there  lied  has
  'Who do you think has lied?'
b. Welke jongeni denk je [dat *(?er) ti gelogen heeft]?
  which boy  think you   that  there  lied  has
  'Which boy do you think has lied?'

What is crucial for our argument is not so much the admittedly subtle effect of D-linking on the acceptability of an overt expletive in the two examples in (188), but the contrast between the examples in (188) and those in (189); while omission of the expletive is completely excluded in (188), it is (at least marginally) allowed in (189).

Example 189
a. Wie heeft ?(er) gelogen?
  who  has  there  lied
  'Who has lied?'
b. Welke jongen heeft (?er) gelogen?
  which boy  has  there  lied
  'Which boy has lied?'

The acceptability contrasts indicated in (188) and (189) can be accounted for by appealing to the complementizer-trace filter. First consider the two (a)-examples. Since the expletive er is right-adjacent to the declarative complementizer dat in (188) or the finite verb in non-subject-initial clauses such as Gisteren heeft er iemand gelogen'Yesterday someone lied', it can be assumed to occupy the regular subject position. If we further assume that absence of the expletive indicates that the subject has been moved into the regular subject position (a marked option for non-D-linked wie), the acceptability difference between the two (a)-examples follows from the complementizer-trace filter: if the expletive er is not present, the C-position is immediately followed by a wh-trace, which is prohibited if the C-position is filled by the complementizer dat but allowed if it is filled by the finite verb. The contrast is even clearer in the case of the two (b)-examples, due to the fact signaled by the markedness of er that D-linked wh-phrases are preferably wh-moved via the regular subject position.
      Let us now return to the contrast between (187a) and (187a'). At first sight, the proposal above does not seem to help much to account for this, as these examples do not contain the expletive er. If this indicates, as suggested above, that the subject has been wh-moved via the regular subject position, we would predict these examples to be both unacceptable, contrary to fact. However, the fact that the expletive is not realized is not due to the position of the subject but to yet another factor, which was discussed in Section N8.1.4, namely that the realization of expletives is not only sensitive to the (in)definiteness of the subject, but also depends on the presence of presuppositional material in the clause. Consider the examples in (190), in which the subjects are all interpreted as non-specific indefinites, and in which er should not be construed spatially ("there") but as a pure expletive.

Example 190
a. dat ?(er) iemand een boek gekocht heeft.
  that  there  someone  a book  bought  has
b. dat (?er) iemand het boek gekocht heeft.
  that  there  someone  the book  bought  has
c. dat (*er) iemand het gekocht heeft.
  that  there  someone  it  bought  has

The contrast between the two examples in (190a&b) shows that the definiteness of the object may affect the distribution of the expletive er. This is even clearer in (190c), where the referential personal pronoun het blocks realization of the expletive. Consequently, in order to show that the acceptability of long wh-movement of the subject depends on D-linking, we also have to control for the definiteness of the object. This has been done in the examples in (191), which show that with an indefinite object omission of the expletive again has a severely degrading effect in the case of long but not in the case of local wh-movement. The contrast between the primeless and primed examples (191) thus shows again that wh-movement of subjects is sensitive to the complementizer-trace filter.

Example 191
a. Wiei denk je [dat *?(er) ti een boek gekocht heeft]?
  who  think  you  that  there  a book  bought has
  'Who do you think has bought a book?'
a'. Wiei heeft ?(er) ti een boek gekocht?
  who  has  there  a book  bought
  'Who has bought a book?'
b. Welke jongeni denk je [dat ??(?er) ti een boek gekocht heeft]?
  which boy  think  you  that    there  a book  bought has
  'Which boy do you think has bought a book?'
b'. Welke jongeni heeft (?er) ti een boek gekocht?
  which boy  has  there  a book  bought
  'Which boy has bought a book?'

      It is important to note that the complementizer-trace filter crucially involves a phonetically realized complementizer. This is clear from the examples in (192), which show that local wh-movement into the clause-initial position of the embedded clause does not require the presence of the expletive er, that is, that the empty complementizer Ø does not trigger the complementizer-trace effect. The primed examples in (191) have already shown that the complementizer-trace filter crucially involves a phonetically realized complementizer, not just a phonetically filled C-position, as finite verbs in second position do not evoke this effect.

Example 192
a. Ik vraag me af [wiei Ø ?(er) ti gelogen heeft]?
  wonder  refl  prt.   who  comp  there  lied  has
  'I wonder who has lied.'
b. Ik vraag me af [welke jongeni Ø (?er) ti gelogen heeft]?
  wonder  refl  prt.   which boy  comp  there  lied  has
  'I wonder which boy has lied.'

      We conclude this discussion of complementizer-trace effects by raising a warning flag related to the fact that Maling & Zaenen (1978) have suggested that there are regional varieties of Dutch in which the expletive er can be freely omitted. Although this claim is controversial, there may indeed be a certain amount of individual variation in speaker judgments when it comes to dropping the expletive in the examples discussed in this subsection. For more detailed discussion, we refer the reader to Bennis (1986:section 3.6.1).

[+]  III.  Restrictions on the syntactic function of the embedded clause

The acceptability of long wh-movement depends on properties of the embedded clause from which the wh-phrase is extracted. The examples in (193) show that the embedded verb must be an argument of its matrix clause; long wh-movement from complementive or adverbial clauses is prohibited.

Example 193
a. De directeur had verwacht [dat hij een bonus zou krijgen].
direct object
  the manager  had expected   that  he  a bonus  would  receive
  'The manager had expected that he would receive a bonus.'
a'. Wati had de directeur verwacht [dat hij zou ti krijgen]?
  what  had  the manager  expected   that  he  would  receive
  'What had the manager expected that he would receive?'
b. Het probleem is [dat de directeur een te grote bonus krijgt].
complementive
  the problem is   that  the manager  a too big bonus  receives
  'The problem is that the manager receives a big bonus.'
b'. * Wati is het probleem [dat de directeur ti krijgt]?
  what  is  the problem  that  the manager  receives
c. De directeur juichte [toen hij een vette bonus kreeg].
adverbial
  the manager  cheered  when  he  a fat bonus  received
  'The manager shouted with joy when he received a fat bonus.'
c'. * Wati juichte de directeur [toen hij ti kreeg]?
  what  cheered  the manager  when  he  received

The examples in (194) show that long wh-movement is also blocked from argument clauses if they are introduced by the anticipatory pronoun het'it'. This would follow immediately from the observation above if we assume that the anticipatory pronoun is the "true" argument of the verb while the clause is an adjunct or a right-dislocated (that is, clause-external) element.

Example 194
a. De directeur had het verwacht [dat hij een bonus zou krijgen].
  the manager  had it  expected   that  he  a bonus  would  receive
  'The manager had expected it that he would receive a bonus.'
b. * Wati had de directeur het verwacht [dat hij ti zou krijgen]?
  what  had  the manager  it  expected   that  he  would  receive

      Long wh-movement is not only possible from object clauses but also from subject clauses, as is clear from the fact that impersonal passivization of (193a') gives rise to a fully acceptable result; this is shown in (195a'). Use of an anticipatory pronoun again blocks long wh-movement, as is clear from the fact that the passivized counterpart of example (194b) is unacceptable; this is shown in (195b'). For completeness' sake, the primeless examples show that the corresponding cases without long wh-movement are both acceptable.

Example 195
a. Er werd verwacht [dat hij een bonus zou krijgen].
  there  was   expected   that  he  a bonus  would  receive
  'It was expected that he would receive a big bonus.'
a'. Wati werd er verwacht [dat hij zou ti krijgen]?
  what  was  there  expected   that  he  would  receive
b. Het werd verwacht [dat hij een bonus zou krijgen].
  it  was   expected   that  he  a bonus  would  receive
  'It was expected that he would receive a big bonus.'
b'. * Wati werd het verwacht [dat hij zou ti krijgen]?
  what  was  it  expected   that  he  would  receive

It should be noted, however. that at least some speakers perceive an argument-adjunct asymmetry in the case of subject clauses. So, while all speakers accept argument extraction both from object and subject clauses, some speakers consider adjunct extraction from subject clauses to yield a worse result than from object clauses; this is illustrated by, respectively, the (a)- and (b)- examples in (196). It suggests that subject but not object clauses are weak islands for wh-movement.

Example 196
a. Wati verwacht Peter [dat Marie morgen ti zal kopen]?
  what  expects  Peter  that  Marie tomorrow  will  buy
  'What does Peter expect that Marie will buy tomorrow?'
a'. Wati wordt er verwacht [dat Marie morgen ti zal kopen]?
  what  is  there  expected  that  Marie tomorrow  will  buy
b. Wanneeri verwacht Peter [dat Marie een nieuwe auto ti zal kopen]?
  when  expects  Peter  that  Marie a new car  will  buy
  'When does Peter expect that Marie will buy a new car?'
b'. % Wanneeri wordt er verwacht [dat Marie een nieuwe auto ti zal kopen]?
  when  is  there  expected  that  Marie a new car  will  buy

      The acceptability of the passive example in (195a') raises the expectation that long wh-movement is also possible from subject clauses in unaccusative constructions. This seems to be borne out by the fact that the modal verb blijken'to turn out' licenses long wh-movement provided the anticipatory pronoun het'it' is not present; cf. Bennis (1986:ch.2). Even speakers who consider wh-extraction in example (197b) marked with the expletive er will agree that there is a sharp contrast in acceptability with regard to the version with the anticipatory pronoun het.

Example 197
a. Er/Het is gebleken [dat Jan staatsgeheimen verkocht heeft].
  there/it  is  appeared  that  Jan  secrets.of.state  sold  has
  'It has turned out that Jan has sold official secrets.'
b. Wati is er/*het gebleken [dat Jan ti verkocht heeft]?
  what  is  there/it  appeared  that Jan  sold  has

Long wh-movement from subject clauses is nevertheless quite rare due to the fact that subject clauses are normally obligatorily introduced by the anticipatory pronoun het. For example, the modal verb schijnen'to seem' differs from blijken in that it does not allow the impersonal construction with the expletive er'there', so that long wh-movement is categorically excluded.

Example 198
a. Het/*Er schijnt [dat Jan staatsgeheimen verkocht heeft].
  it/there  seems  that  Jan  secrets.of.state  sold  has
  'It seems that Jan has sold official secrets.'
b. * Wati schijnt het/er [dat Jan ti verkocht heeft]?
  what  seems  it/there  that Jan  sold  has

The primeless examples in (199) show that the anticipatory pronoun het cannot appear if the subject clause is in sentence-initial position, while the primed examples show that long wh-movement is nevertheless impossible. This shows that long wh-movement is only possible from subject clauses in clause-final position, although it is not clear whether this should be considered a restriction on wh-movement, as subject clauses are never possible in the middle field of the clause: cf. Koster (1978).

Example 199
a. [Dat Jan staatsgeheimen verkocht had] bleek al snel.
  that  Jan secrets.of.state  sold  had  turned.out  prt  quickly
  'It turned out quickly that Jan had sold official secrets.'
a'. * Wati bleek [dat Jan ti verkocht had] al snel?
  what  appeared   that  Jan  sold  had  prt  quickly
b. [Dat Jan staatsgeheimen verkocht had] was duidelijk.
  that  Jan  secrets.of.state  sold  had  was clear
  'It was clear that Jan had sold official secrets.'
b'. * Wati was [dat Jan ti verkocht had] duidelijk?
  what  was   that  Jan  sold  had  clear

      We conclude with a brief digression on matrix verbs that normally select a prepositional object such as klagen (over)'to complain about'. Although Section 2.3.1, sub VI, has shown that many of these verbs allow the anticipatory pronominal PP to be omitted if the prepositional object is clausal, long wh-movement is normally excluded.

Example 200
a. Jan klaagt (erover) [dat Marie zijn aantekeningen weg gegooid heeft].
  Jan complains  about.it   that  Marie his notes  away  thrown has
  'Jan complains (about it) that Marie has thrown away his notes.'
b. * Wati klaagt Jan (erover) [dat Marie ti weg gegooid heeft]?
  what  complains  Jan about.it  that  Marie  away  thrown  has

The verb hopen (op)'to hope for' appears to be an exceptional case. Example (201a) first shows that this verb selects a prepositional object; the use of a nominal object (without op) leads to an unacceptable result. Example (201b) shows that the anticipatory pronominal PP erop can easily be dropped if the object is clausal; it is in fact the preferred option. Example (201c) finally shows that long wh-movement is acceptable if the pronominal PP is not present.

Example 201
a. De directeur hoopt *(op) een grote bonus.
  the manager  hopes   for   a big bonus
  'The manager is hoping for a big bonus.'
b. De directeur hoopt (?erop) [dat hij een grote bonus krijgt].
  the manager  hopes  for.it   that  he  a big bonus  receives
  'The manager hopes that he will receive a big bonus.'
c. Wati hoopt de directeur (*erop) [dat hij ti krijgt]?
  what  hopes  the director  for.it   that  he  receives
  'What does the manager hope that he will receive?'

The examples in (201) therefore suggest that verbs selecting a prepositional object may license long wh-extraction after all. But things are not so simple, given that pronominalization of the embedded clause in (201c) may result in het: De directeur hoopt het'The manager hopes [for] it'. In fact het can also be used as an anticipatory pronoun with hopen: De directeur hoopt het [dat hij een grote bonus krijgt]'The manager hopes [it] that he will get a big bonus'. This shows that hopen can actually be a transitive verb if it selects a clausal complement. From this we conclude that the acceptability of (201c) does not count as a counterexample to the claim that wh-extraction is not possible form prepositional object clauses.

[+]  IV.  Bridge verbs

Subsection III has shown that long wh-movement is only possible if the embedded clause has the syntactic function of subject or direct object. This does not mean, however, that long wh-movement is possible from any subject or direct object clause, as this may also depend on properties of the matrix predicate: while certain matrix verbs may function as so-called bridge verbs, others cannot. An important factor involved is factivity: a bridge verb is non-factive in the sense that its use does not imply that the speaker presupposes the truth of the proposition expressed by the complement clause. This accounts for the acceptability contrast between the two (b)-examples in (202); while the use of weten'to know' in (202a) implies that the speaker presupposes the proposition "Peter bought an Ipad" to be true, the use of denken'to think' does not.

Example 202
a. Marie denkt/weet [dat Peter een nieuwe Ipad gekocht heeft].
  Marie thinks/knows   that  Peter  a new Ipad  bought  has
  'Marie thinks/knows that Peter has bought a new Ipad.'
b. Wati denkt Marie [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
non-factive
  what  thinks  Marie   that Peter  bought  has
  'What does Marie think that Peter has bought?'
b'. * Wati weet Marie [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
factive
  what  knows  Marie   that Peter  bought  has

There are various other factors that determine whether a specific verb licenses long wh-movement. For example, although verbs of saying are typically non-factive, they do not allow long wh-movement when they also express a manner component: while the "neutral" verb zeggen'to say' readily allows long wh-movement, the verb fluisteren'to whisper,' the meaning of which includes the additional manner component "without vibration of the vocal cords", does not.

Example 203
a. Marie zegt/fluistert [dat Peter een nieuwe Ipad gekocht heeft].
  Marie says/whispers   that  Peter  a new Ipad  bought  has
  'Marie says/whispers that Peter has bought a new Ipad.'
b. Wati zegt Marie [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
  what  says Marie   that  Peter  bought  has
  'What does Marie say that Peter has bought?'
c. * Wati fluistert Marie [dat Peter ti gekocht heeft]?
  what  whispers  Marie   that  Peter  bought  has

The discussion above suffices to illustrate that it is not sufficient for long wh-movement that the embedded clause is an argument of the verb but that the matrix verb must also satisfy certain criteria in order to be able to function as a bridge verb. For more discussion, we refer the reader to Section 5.1.6, where the distinction between bridge and non-bridge predicates is discussed in greater detail. More restrictions on long wh-movement will be discussed in Section 11.3.1.3, where we will focus on so-called islands for wh-movement.

[+]  V.  Long wh-movement is obligatory and leaves an intermediate trace

Long wh-movement is obligatory in Standard Dutch in order to make a question in which a constituent of an embedded clause takes scope over a matrix clause; if long wh-movement is excluded for some reason, such a question can simply not be formed. Since adverbial clauses do not allow long wh-movement (cf, subsection III), it is impossible to question the object een vette bonus'a big bonus' in (204a), as is clear from the fact that the two (b)-examples in (204) are both unacceptable as regular wh-questions. The number sign indicates that with the right intonation pattern the utterance in (204b) can be interpreted as an echo-question or with an existential interpretation of wat'something', but we can ignore this here.

Example 204
a. De directeur juichte [toen hij een vette bonus kreeg].
  the manager  cheered  when  he  a fat bonus  received
  'The manager shouted with joy when he received a big bonus.'
b. # De directeur juichte [toen hij wat kreeg]?
  the manager  cheered  when  he  what  received
b'. * Wati juichte de directeur [toen hij ti kreeg]?
  what  cheered the manager  when  he  received

That long wh-movement is obligatory to derive questions in which a constituent of an embedded clause has matrix scope is also clear from examples like (205), in which the object clause, as opposed to the adjunct clause in (204), does allow long wh-movement: the contrast between the two (b)-examples show that leaving the wh-phrase in situ blocks the question interpretation. Observe that we added the intermediate trace t'i to the representation in (205b') because its presence will become relevant in the discussion below.

Example 205
a. Marie denkt [dat ik een olifant gezien heb].
  Marie thinks   that  an elephant  seen  have
  'Marie thinks that I have seen an elephant.'
b. # Marie denkt [dat ik wat gezien heb]?
  Marie thinks   that  what  seen  have
b'. Wati denkt Marie [t'i dat ik ti gezien heb]?
  what  thinks  Marie  that  seen  have
  'What does Marie think that I have seen?'

      The obligatoriness of long wh-movement is expected on the hypothesis (discussed in Section 11.3.1.1, sub II) that wh-movement is needed to create an operator-variable chain. However, it leaves unexplained that Standard Dutch differs markedly from some of its dialects (as well as German) in that it does not allow so-called partial wh-movement and/or w h-doubling. Partial wh-movement is illustrated in (206a) by means of an example taken from Barbiers, Koeneman & Lekakou (2010); it is characterized by the fact that the actual scope position of the wh-phrase (here: wie) is marked by some place holder (here: the wh-element wat); the wh-phrase cannot remain in its clause-internal base position, but must at least move into the clause-initial position of its own clause.

Example 206
a. Wat denk je [wie ik gezien heb]?
Dialect from Overijssel
  what  think  you  who  seen  have
  'Who do you think that I have seen?'
b. * Wat denk je [wie ik gezien heb]?
Standard Dutch
  what  think  you  who  seen  have

Wh-doubling is illustrated in example (207a), and is characterized by the fact that the wh-phrase does not only occupy its scope position but also the clause-initial position of the embedded clause; see Boef (2013) for a discussion of a similar phenomenon in relative clauses.

Example 207
a. Wie denk je [wie ik gezien heb]?
Dialect from Drenthe
  who  think  you  who  seen  have
  'Who do you think that I have seen?'
b. * Wie denk je [wie ik gezien heb]?
Standard Dutch
  who  think  you  who  seen  have

Barbiers, Koeneman & Lekakou argue that the two examples in (206) and (207) can be seen as the result of cyclic movement if we adopt Chomsky's (1995:ch.3) copy theory of movement, according to which movement is a two-step operation: the content of the "moved" phrase is first copied and subsequently inserted in some higher position. The difference between long wh-movement and wh-doubling is simply that in the former case only the highest copy is phonetically spelled-out, whereas in the latter case all copies in clause-initial position are spelled-out; this is indicated in (208), in which strikethrough indicates that the copy is not spelled out.

Example 208
a. Wiei denk je [wiei C [ik wiei gezien heb]]?
wh-doubling
b. Wiei denk je [wiei C [ik wiei gezien heb]]?
long wh-movement

Partial wh-movement is analyzed in essentially the same way as wh-doubling, with this difference that wat'what' is considered a partial copy of wie'who'; these pronouns are the spell-out of virtually the same set of features with the exception of +human, which is lacking in wat; see Barbiers, Koeneman & Lekakou (2010) for details. If the suggested analysis is on the right track, this would provide evidence in favor of the cyclic movement approach to long wh-movement. It should be noted, however, that the proposal is controversial; we refer to Schippers (2012:ch.4) and Pankau (2014) for extensive reviews of various proposals and further discussion.

[+]  VI.  Long wh-movement from infinitival clauses

Section 5.2 has shown that there three formally different types of infinitival clauses: o m + te-infinitivals, te-infinitivals and bare infinitivals. A few typical examples are given in (209).

Example 209
a. Jan beloofde [om PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
om + te-infinitival
  Jan promised  comp  the book to Els  to send
  'Jan promised to send the book to Els.'
b. Jan beweerde [TP PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
te-infinitival
  Jan claimed  the book  to Els  to send
  'Jan claimed to send the book to Els.'
c. Jan wilde [PRO het boek naar Els sturen].
bare infinitival
  Jan wanted  the book  to Els  send
  'Jan wanted to send the book to Els.'

It seems that long wh-movement from om + te-infinitival clauses gives rise to a more degraded result than long wh-movement from te-infinitival clauses. This can be easily demonstrated by means of the verb proberen'to try', as this verb is possible with both clause types; although some speakers object to the two primed examples in (210), our informants consider (210a') much worse than (210b'). Observe that we give the examples in the perfect tense in order to show that both examples involve extraposed clauses. The labels CP/TP indicate that the two types of infinitival clause differ in size; we refer the reader to Section 5.2.2 for extensive discussion of the claim that om + te-infinitivals are CPs, while te-infinitivals are TPs.

Example 210
a. Jan heeft geprobeerd [CP om PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
om + te-inf.
  Jan has  tried  comp  the book to Els  to send
  'Jan has tried to send the book to Els.'
a'. *? Wati heeft Jan geprobeerd [CP om PRO ti naar Els te sturen]?
  what  has  Jan tried  comp  to Els  to send
  'What has Jan tried to send to Els?'
b. Jan heeft geprobeerd [TP PRO het boek naar Els te sturen].
te-infinitival
  Jan has  tried  the book to Els  to send
  'Jan has tried to send the book to Els.'
b'. % Wati heeft Jan geprobeerd [TP PRO ti naar Els te sturen]?
  what  has  Jan tried  to Els  to send
  'What has Jan tried to send to Els?'

The degraded status of examples such as (210a') suggests that om + te-infinitivals differ from finite declarative clauses in that they do not accommodate cyclic wh-movement, which may in fact be in line with the finding in Section 11.3.1.1, sub IV, that embedded infinitival wh-questions are not common in colloquial speech. If true, this entails that long wh-movement from te-infinitivals in examples like (210b') differs from long wh-movement from finite declaratives in that it must apply in one fell swoop; this is of course also suggested by the fact that TPs do not contain the position normally associated with wh-movement, the specifier of CP. That wh-movement in one fell swoop is possible in (210b') is not surprising in light of the fact discussed in Section 5.2.2.3 that extraposed te-infinitivals are semi-transparent in the sense that they allow the infinitival clause to be split, as illustrated in (211). If this split is the result of leftward scrambling of the object het boek, there is no obvious reason for assuming that leftward wh-movement of the interrogative pronoun wat'what' would be impossible in (210b').

Example 211
% Jan heeft het boek geprobeerd naar Els te sturen.
  Jan has  the book  tried  to Els  to send
'Jan has promised to send the book to Els.'

Section 5.2.2.3 has further shown that there are two types of te-infinitivals. The semi-transparent type, which was already illustrated in the (b)-examples in (210), is characterized by the fact that the matrix verb appears as a participle in the perfect tense and that splitting the infinitival clause is considered marked by at least some speakers. The transparent type is characterized by the fact that the matrix verb appears as an infinitive in the perfect tense and that splitting of the infinitival clause is obligatory in the northern variety of standard Dutch as a result of verb clustering. This type can again be illustrated by means of the matrix verb proberen'to try', as this verb may also take transparent te-infinitivals as its object. Examples like (212a) exhibit monoclausal behavior and it is therefore not surprising that wh-movement of the object of the infinitival verb sturen'to send' is fully acceptable for all speakers.

Example 212
a. Jan heeft het boek naar Els probereninfinitive te sturen.
  Jan has  the book  to Els  try  to send
  'Jan has promised to send the book to Els.'
b. Wati heeft Jan ti naar Els proberen te sturen?
  what  has  Jan  to Els  try  to send
  'What has Jan tried to send to Els?'

Bare infinitival complements always exhibit monoclausal behavior; the examples in (213) show that, as expected, bare infinitivals freely allow wh-movement of the complement of the infinitival verb.

Example 213
a. Jan heeft het boek naar Els willen sturen.
  Jan has  the book  to Els  want  to send
  'Jan has tried to send the book to Els.'
b. Wati heeft Jan ti naar Els willen sturen?
  what  has  Jan  to Els  want  send
  'What has Jan wanted to send to Els?'

The discussion above suggests that cyclic wh-movement does not apply in the case of an infinitival complement clause, and that wh-extraction from such clauses must therefore apply in one fell swoop. It should be noted, however, that the literature has not paid much attention to wh-extraction from o m + te- and te-infinitivals so far and that it might be useful to investigate our claim here in more depth, as judgments are not always very clear (perhaps caused by the interference of constructions with infinitival goal clauses, which are likewise introduced by om: cf. Wat doet u om af te vallen?'What do you do to lose weight?').

References:
  • Ankelien Schippers2012Variation and change in Germanic long-distance dependenciesUniversity of GroningenThesis
  • Barbiers, Sjef, Koeneman, Olaf & Lekakou, Marika2010Syntactic doubling and the structure of <i>wh</i>-chainsJournal of Linguistics461-46
  • Barbiers, Sjef, Koeneman, Olaf & Lekakou, Marika2010Syntactic doubling and the structure of <i>wh</i>-chainsJournal of Linguistics461-46
  • Bennis, Hans1986Gaps and dummiesDordrechtForis Publications
  • Bennis, Hans1986Gaps and dummiesDordrechtForis Publications
  • Boeckx, Cedric2008Understanding Minimalist Syntax. Lessons from locality in Long-distance dependenciesMalden, MA/OxfordBlackwell Publishing
  • Boef, Eefje2013Doubling in relative clauses. Aspects of morphosyntactic microvariation in DutchUniversity UtrechtThesis
  • Chomsky, Noam1973Conditions on transformationsAnderson, Stephen & Kiparsky, Paul (eds.)A festschrift for Morris HalleNew YorkHolt, Rinehart, and Winston71-132
  • Chomsky, Noam1995The minimalist programCurrent studies in linguistics ; 28Cambridge, MAMIT Press
  • Chomsky, Noam & Lasnik, Howard1977Filters and controlLinguistic Inquiry8425-504
  • Dekkers, Joost1999Derivations & evaluations. On the syntax of subjects and complementizersAmsterdamUniversity of AmsterdamThesis
  • Kayne, Richard S1976French relative <i>que</i>Lujan, Marta & Hensley, Fritz (eds.)Current Studies in Romance LinguisticsWashington (D.C.)GeorgetownUniversity Press255-299
  • Koster, Jan1978Why subject sentences don't existKeyser, S. Jay (ed.)Recent transformational studies in European languages53-64
  • Maling, Joan & Zaenen, Annie1978The nonuniversality of a surface filterLinguistic Inquiry9475--497
  • Pankau, Andreas2014Replacing copies: the syntax of wh-copying in GermanUniversity of UtrechtThesis
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