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Prosody and processing of wh-in-situ questions in standard Persian

On April 4th, Zohreh Shiamizadeh succesfully defended her doctoral thesis and graduated. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Zohreh on this great result.

Zohreh Shiamizadeh
04 April 2018
Full text in Leiden University Repository


The syntactic literature offers different question types, one of which is the wh-question. There are languages, including Persian, in which the wh-phrase is not required to move to sentence-initial position in order to form a wh-question. It has been shown that prosody contributes to the production and perception of the contrast between declarativity and interrogativity, notably in interrogative utterances lacking lexico-syntactic features of interrogativity. Accordingly, it may be proposed that prosody plays a role in encoding and decoding wh-in-situ questions in which the interrogativity feature (the wh-phrase) does not move to sentence-initial position, as, for example, in Persian. The role of prosodic correlates in marking different parts of wh-in-situ questions as opposed to declaratives is, however, an understudied research area in Persian prosody. Further understudied topics include the role of prosodic correlates in the identification of wh-in-situ questions before the occurrence of the wh-phrase. This dissertation focuses on a series of experiments on the production and perception of wh-in-situ questions in standard Persian.

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