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Contiguity Theory$
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Norvin Richards

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034425

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034425.001.0001

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Match Theory and Contiguity

Match Theory and Contiguity

(p.67) 3 Match Theory and Contiguity
Contiguity Theory

Norvin Richards

The MIT Press

The chapter reviews and updates Richards’ theory of how to predict the distribution of overt wh-movement: a universal condition on the prosody of wh-questions requires interrogative C and the wh-phrase to be in a prosodic phrase with the wh-phrase at its prosodically prominent edge. Richards’ proposal was in terms of an end-based theory of prosody: this chapter updates the model to the more recent Match Theory, and demonstrates that Match Theory allows the theory to capture Constant’s observations about the prosody and distribution of contrastive topics in English. Two operations that can manipulate the prosody of the sentence to satisfy the prosodic conditions on wh-questions are described (Grouping and Contiguity-adjunction). As in Richards (2010), the relevant parameters distinguishing between languages are the head direction of C and the placement of prosodic phenomena in the prosodic phrase; depending on the distribution of prosodic phenomena in a given language, wh-phrases either may remain in situ or must move to positions adjacent to C.

Keywords:   wh-movement, contrastive topic, Match Theory, end-based theory, prosody

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