Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Contemporary approaches to Generative syntax lead to the expectation that WH in situ would be subject to few distributional restrictions; but a series of complex constraints apply to in-situ WH in subject position in Standard Indonesian. We argue that this distribution does not follow from principles of formal grammar, but rather from a constraint on the relationship between syntax and information structure. We then turn to Colloquial Jakarta Indonesian, a variety similar to Standard Indonesian with regard to grammatical restrictions on WH in situ, but lacking the constraint on the relationship between syntax and information structure found in Standard Indonesian. We contend that the seeming differences between the grammars of Standard Indonesian and Jakarta Indonesian do not reflect differences in grammar in the narrow sense but rather in how the dialects relate to formal grammar and pragmatics.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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