No superiority, no intervention effects
Recent typological approaches (Cable, 2010; Pesetsky, 2000) explain the independently-noticed crosslinguistic differences between Superiority and Intervention Effects as the result of general lexical differences of wh-phrases. A pattern that seems to be recurrent crosslinguistically is that languages that display Superiority do not exhibit Intervention Effects and vice versa. In other words, Superiority and Intervention Effects appear to be in complementary distribution in natural languages. Surprisingly, Spanish lacks both Superiority and Intervention Effects. This paper accounts for this unexpected behavior in Spanish as the result of a lexical property of Spanish that allows some of its wh-phrases to enter the derivation as two dependent elements: a Q-particle and a dependent wh-variable.