An anti-locality restriction on subject wh-phrases in Kîîtharaka
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This paper investigates the syntactic restrictions on subject wh-questions in Kîîtharaka, an SVO Bantu language spoken in Kenya (Code E54, according to the classification by Guthrie). Subject wh-phrases exhibit two closely linked restrictions. First, they cannot appear in situ in the matrix position. In situ wh-phrases lack focus marking in Kîîtharaka. Secondly, subject wh-phrases cannot appear in situ in the immediate complement of verbs that select interrogative complements. This paper suggests a unifying solution to the two restrictions. Specifically, it argues that subject wh-phrases are subject to an anti-locality condition, a condition that prevents wh-phrases to be immediately subjacent to their binder. The binder in this respect is a wh-operator in the left periphery of the clause, an operator in Spec, FocP.