Come join us at our first Talks in Linguistics (TiL) session of 2012! This friday February 17th, Shane Ebert will be leading a presentation entitled “Why Simple Wh phrases are Not So Simple: Evidence from Inversion in Spanish English Code switching”
When: Friday 17th, 2012 at 3pm
Where: UH 1750 (601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607)
Light refreshments will be provided.
Here is a preview of the presentation:
“Why Simple Wh phrases areNot So Simple: Evidence from Inversion in Spanish English Code switching”
There are two particularly salient properties of wh questions in both
Spanish and English: fronting of the wh phrase and inversion of either the
subject and verb (Spanish) or the subject and auxiliary (English). In the
case of inversion, this is not a unitary phenomenon, as evidenced by the
matrix embedded asymmetry of English and the argument adjunct asymmetry of
Spanish, and the ultimate motivation for the inversion is not clear. The
question is why it is possible in those contexts and not in any others.
For example, what makes the process of inversion in Spanish sensitive to
the thematic status of the wh phrase? In fact, this sensitivity can offer
clues about how inversion proceeds in the two languages. In this
presentation, I review several other types of sensitivity beyond those of
the previously mentioned asymmetries and explore their implications for
the underlying mechanisms behind the phenomenon of inversion using
evidence from Spanish-English code-switching.