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The Syntax of Wh-Questions in Gichuka

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41015    4,436 Downloads   6,232 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This study investigated wh-question formation in Gichuka, an SVO Bantu language spoken in Kenya. The study established that Gichuka forms wh-question using the four strategies, namely: wh-in situ, full wh-movement, partial wh-movement, and intermediate strategy. In wh-in situ, the wh-phrase does not move. In full wh-movement, the wh-phrase moves to the beginning of the sentence. In partial wh-movement, the wh-phrase moves to an intermediate Spec, CP. In the intermediate strategy, the wh-phrase moves to an intermediate Spec, CP, or a Spec of the matrix CP, followed by movement of the subject to position above CP, a Topic position. These findings are similar to those of Muriungi (2003) who established that Kitharaka, a related Bantu language forms questions using the four strategies. As in Muriungi (2003), the study established that subjects cannot be questioned in situ.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Muriungi, P. , Mutegi, M. & Karuri, M. (2014). The Syntax of Wh-Questions in Gichuka. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 182-204. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41015.

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