1

Maria asked I read which book

This sentence is ungrammatical.

  1. Is this because an IP I read cannot be a complement or sister to a V asked
  2. Is there a CP in this ungrammatical sentence?
  • 4
    The sentence is ungrammatical because asked is a predicate that subcategorizes for an indirect question, and indirect questions begin with the wh-expression. Stated in other terms, the predicate asked takes an interrogative expression as its immediate dependent. – Tim Osborne May 9 at 16:27
  • 1
    More simply put, the interrogative NP which book was not displaced to the front of the _Wh-_complement clause; _Wh-_Movement did not take place as it should have. – jlawler May 9 at 20:56
1

The ungrammaticality is not related to the fact that V cannot take IP as complement. This fact is evidenced by (1) and (2) (hence your first question):

(1) She wants [IP to leave]
(2) She wants [IP him to leave]

The ungrammaticality is related to the strong wh-feature [+wh] which is left unchecked. The object which book of read, after assigned a theta-role and a case from this verb, it has to move to check another wh-feature of the complementizer CP (hence, your second question- yes there's a CP):

(3) [IP Maria [VP V asked [CP {+wh} [C ∅ [IP I read [DP which book]]]]]]

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Your answer is complex and assumes a lot (e.g. to leave is an IP, checking occurs, theta-role assignment occurs first). Why not just state that the interrogative predicate asked subcategorizes for an indirect question? – Tim Osborne May 9 at 16:29
  • 1
    This is the simplest way I could put it :D – Tsutsu May 9 at 16:56
  • @Tsutsu What do you mean by "unchecked" and "check"? – V.Lydia May 10 at 5:29
  • @V.Lydia Movement of wh-object which book is not vacuous, it's feature-driven. There's a feature that it checks. Features are linguistic properties of lexical items. CP (interrogative) has a wh-feature (for questions, whether direct or indirect) that must be checked. If movement does not take place, this feature gets no value and derivation crashes (ungrammaticality). Checking=valuation of a feature. – Tsutsu May 10 at 10:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.