Syntactic Theory

General Definition

WH-questions : also known as constituent question. The answer to a wh- question is expressed by a constituent that corresponds to the wh- phrase in the question. As the name implies, Wh- phrases are so called because they generally begin with wh- in English (who, what, which, where, when, why).


 Wh- question:  Who(m) did you invite?     Jane. 
                When did she call?         After dinner. 
                How did you come here?     By bus.

WH-movement: this type of movement is involved in the derivation of wh- questions, it is known as wh- movement.


 He called Lucy to come to his birthday party .   
 Who did you call to come to his birthday party? (wh- movement)   
 He called  who to come to his birthday party? (wh- in situ) 
 He put the books on the desk.
 What did he do?! (wh- movement) 
 He did what?! (wh- in situ) 

Please press here to start the next step: Wh-Movement in the Main Clause