Incorporated wh pronouns

Question for @olzama from this year’s 567, in particular the team working on Arapaho [arp]. They are finding that wh questions are marked by incorporated pronouns (including for adverbial wh questions, but we can set that aside for the moment). Thus they went to select “morphological marking” on the wh questions page, but (it seems to me) that is for a case where the verb might effectively “agree” with the wh questionness of the sentence. Am I missing something? Is there some way to model this?

Here are the examples they’ve posted so far; I’m assuming core argument questions are analogous.

'Why do you go to school?'

'Where do you go to school?'


The morphological marking is intended for who and what, in other words, specifically for the pronoun indexing where there is a separate inflection paradigm for questions.

…And in general why is not covered at all, I’m afraid. Only where and when (and only as separate adverbs). If you could treat those as separate adverbial clitics, then you could do something leading kind of half-way to good semantics, like below (but include also the spelling):

The = in the where-example suggests it is a clitic, and if it tends to always be in the front, then you could just spell it separately perhaps. The incorporated why is harder, assuming the aspect and the subject aren’t also free clitics.

Oh, I think I misread your question, sorry. You are asking what to do with who and what, right? Not with why and where.

But yeah, I guess the answer is still the same: no true incorporation in the library. The morphological marking is for indexing, as you say. Still, maybe if I see an IGT with an actual who/what in it? Because in that case, it won’t have the 2S marking, will it? Perhaps you do have indexing there after all, so, a paradigm to mark a “questioned” 3rd person participant or object on the verb? In that case, morphological marking should work. If it is more like who-3S-IMPF-verb, well, you could “hack” it by pretending that who-3S is one marker…

So it seems that argument wh questions are in fact a little different, but still not covered:

hénee’eehék héíhbiihéiit?

enee’ee-hehk e-ih-biih-eit[on]
who-3S 2S-PAST-make cry(TA)-3.DEP.PART
“Who made you cry?”

As best as I can tell, that first word is a verb meaning “be who” with 3s subject agreement on it (1 and 2 probably not being allowable in this kind of construction) and the other word is a verb in a dependent form. My guess is that this is probably akin to a cleft construction: Who is it that made you cry?

Yeah… You can have a “be.who?” verb (see interrogative verbs in the lexicon) but (a) it wouldn’t be a bound morpheme; (b) perhaps more importantly(?), you could only use it for simple sentences like “who is it?”.

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