preposition stranding and null WH questions

Jan Anward jan at LING.SU.SE
Mon Oct 26 11:04:56 UTC 1998

>I call the construction "null WH question", because it has the following
>two properties:
>(a) It has the meaning of a WH question in English
>(b) There is no WH word present; instead, there's a preposition without
>its object -- and it's precusely that object which is being asked about.

Something like that is perfectly possible in Swedish, provided you start
the sentence with "och" (and):

	Och det här är från?
	(and this is from)
	Och den ska till?
	(and it is.going to)

In this construction, the null need not be marked by a preposition:

	Och du heter?
	(and you are.called)

The null need not be last

	At the lunch restaurant:

		Och du vill ha idag?
		(And you want today)

but can't be a subject (ECP??):

	Still at the lunch restaurant:

		*Och skulle ha köttbullar?
		(And ordered meatballs)

Jan Anward

Jan Anward
Department of Linguistics                       e-mail: jan at
Stockholm University                             tel:    +46 8 16 23 43
S-106 91 Stockholm                              fax     +46 8 15 53 89


Office: Room C 351, Södra huset, Frescati  

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