Workshop: Recent Issues in the Syntax of Questions

8-10 October 2018, Konstanz, Germany

The linguistic study of questions has a long history. Nevertheless, problems with questions still lack agreed-upon solutions in many respects -- partial movement and copy movement questions are a case in point. Another one is wh-in-situ. While information-seeking questions continue to be in the center of attention, the last few years have seen an enhanced interest in various other types: rhetorical questions, deliberative questions, surprise/disapproval questions, echo questions, emphatic or exclaimed questions etc. Syntactically, languages differ with respect to the formation of information-seeking and non-information-seeking questions. They either require the wh-phrase to be fronted into a sentence-initial position or they need to leave the wh-phrase in its in-situ position. They may depart from this general behavior for some pragmatic reasons. Still, there are some languages which are “in between” since they optionally allow both word order patterns.
This workshop intends to bring together syntacticians and semanticists who work on questions in typologically different languages. The goal is to look for convergence across comparable question types across languages or language families.

Invited Speakers:

- Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng (Universiteit Leiden)
- Hamida Demirdache (Université de Nantes)
- Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine (National University of Singapore)
- Nomi Erteschik-Shir (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
- Hadas Kotek (Yale University)


Monday, 8 October: Y311


Invited Speakers Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng and Hamida Demirdache

Speaker variation and strategies in interpreting wh-in-situ

10:15- 10:45



10:45- 11:15

 Nicola Munaro

 Marking yes/no questions across Romance

11:15- 11:45

 Bruno Lima

 On some differences between wh-interrogatives and wh-exclamatives: The case of Brazilian Portuguese

11:45- 12:15

 Antri Kanikli

 The syntax of embu wh-questions in Cypriot Greek: similarities with est-ce que in French and é que in Portuguese

12:15- 14:00



14:00- 14:30

Andreas Pankau

 The Syntax of 'n in North East Berlin German

14:30- 15:00

 Bernat Castro López

 Causal/denial 'como', factivity and evaluation

15:00- 15:30




15:30- 16:00

 Nicola Munaro & Cecilia Poletto

 Towards a typology of wh-doubling in Northern Italian dialects



 Guided tour through the city (Ralf Seuffert)



 Constanzer Wirtshaus


Tuesday, 9 October: Y311

Wednesday, 10 October: Y311


Invited speakers Hadas Kotek & Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine

 Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese

10:15- 10:45


10:45- 11:15

 Hans-Martin Gaertner and Beata Gyuris

 On the Echoic Licensing of Propositional Negation in Hungarian Polar e-Interrogatives

11:15- 11:45

Fabian Heck

 The V2-wh-copy construction in German


Practical informations:

- How to get to Konstanz

- Bus connection between city and the university (lines 9A/9B/11)

- Floor plan of the university

Homepage of the Research Unit:

Questions at the Interfaces


Josef Bayer, Georg A. Kaiser, Katharina Kaiser



This workshop is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (Research Group FOR-2111 “Questions at the interfaces”).