WH-movement in English and Persian within the Framework of Government and Binding Theory

Fariba Abedi, Ahmad Moinzadeh, Zohreh Gharaei


The present study is an attempt to compare WH-movement in English and Persian. In so doing, Chomsky's Government and Binding Theory has been used as the framework. Through the analysis of the examples provided, the researchers conclude that the application of WH-movement in English is to some extent similar to its application in Persian. Case filter principle, theta criterion and the dominance of case-generator over WH-word are among the similarities. The study also reveals some differences between English and Persian as far as generating interrogative sentences with question word is concerned. Mandatory nature of WH-movement rule in English as opposed to its optional nature in Persian, syntactic movement of question word in English as opposed to its non-syntactic nature in Persian, syntactic trigger of WH-movement in English as opposed to its pragmatic trigger in Persian and finally the fixed syntactic position of complimentizer phrase specifier for WH-words in English as opposed to different syntactic positions question words might have in Persian are among the differences.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v4i3.2325

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