Miriam Butt (Konstanz)
Thu 16 Nov 2017, 16:10 - 17:00

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Mirjam Eiswirth (s1322502)

VENUE: 7 Bristo Square, Lecture Theatre 1

This talk reports on progress made on researching Urdu questions from a
perspective in which information structural concerns take center stage.  The
research is conducted within Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), which provides
for a modular architecture of grammar. Components of grammar are assumed to be
independent in terms of representation and wellformedness conditions, yet also
interface with one another in a mutually constraining fashion. Recent years
have seen an increased discussion of the syntax-pragmatics-prosody interface in
this framework.

We situate our work within this context and present a combination of
experimental, corpuslinguistic and prosodic evidence in seeking to understand
the pragmatic functionality of the various word order possibilities with respect
to wh-elements in Urdu/Hindi. We show that a complete understanding of the
pragmatics and syntactic distribution of kya 'what' must necessarily include a
simultaneous integration of prosodic information.  Our research to date has
particularly focused on the diverse roles that the wh-element kya 'what'
plays. The evidence obtained so far points towards: a) postverbal positioning of
kya for reasons of secondary focus; b) an  interaction between the
wh-constituent analyis of kya and a polar reading that can only be resolved via
prosodic information.; c) an analysis of polar kya as a focus sensitive

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