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The Syntax of Wh-Questions in Gichuka

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41015    4,438 Downloads   6,235 Views   Citations


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.

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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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