Question word distributivity: Which account works for which phenomenon?

Mary Moroney

University of Rochester

Friday, April 5, 2024
12:30 p.m.–2 p.m.

Lattimore 201

This talk examines overt expressions of distributivity— including English each, dependent numerals, and answers to pair-list questions— to describe and analyze the distributive construction in Shan (Kra-Dai, Burma) which uses a pronoun, laj , whose question-form interpretation is ‘which’. The use of a wh-question word in an expression of distributivity raises the question of whether multiple wh-questions and the distributive construction can be analyzed in a parallel manner. This presentation will argue that there is a connection between their interpretation. I present data on Shan distributive constructions and wh-questions, providing detail on my data collection methodology, and account for laj  ‘which’, which can appear in both constructions.