Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-6834
  • E-ISSN: 2211-6842
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- in-situ is a pervasive feature of Tano interrogative syntax, yet the Tano languages differ from one another in subtle ways with respect to the distribution of in-situ interrogatives. Languages like Krachi and Bono allow - in-situ in both main and embedded complement clauses, whereas closely related languages like Wasa and Asante Twi only allow - in-situ in main clauses. In this article, I argue that the generalization underpinning this variation in Tano concerns a prohibition on - items phrasing with C at the level of Intonational Phrase (ιP). I show that the ability of a - item to appear in-situ correlates with the prosodic status of its immediately containing clause. Embedded complement clauses are parsed as independent ιP units in Krachi and Bono, but not in Wasa and Asante Twi. Thus, ιP boundaries divide C from embedded interrogatives in Krachi and Bono, preventing the items from forming a prosodic constituent at the level of ιP. Conversely, no such boundaries intervene between embedded C and - in Wasa and Asante Twi, yielding prosodic mappings in which the items phrase together. Consequently, embedded - in-situ is prosodically licit in Krachi and Bono, but not in Wasa and Asante Twi. In this way, the Tano pattern of - in-situ variation described above reduces to a difference in how syntactic structures are externalized via prosodic mapping.


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