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Abstract

This article has investigated interrogative sentences in Lakhota within the framework of Role and Reference Grammar (hereafter RRG) (Van Valin, 1995; Van Valin and LaPolla, 1997), with the aim of explaining their structure as well as finding out the restrictions on ´wh´-question formation that this language exhibits. By means of this study, we will be able to verify the close relationship that also exists between the interrogative words and the indefinite pronouns in this language, see the constraints on linking in simple ´wh´-questions and give an account of the subjacency effects that block the formation of ´wh´-questions involving complex constructions. All in all, this paper will show the remarkable role that the interplay between several syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic features plays in the formation of interrogative sentences, hence it will prove that the RRG analysis provides an adequate explanatory account of the structure of interrogative sentences and also of the restrictions on extraction phenomena. This is very relevant because it demonstrates that these restrictions can be accounted for through the interaction of syntax, semantics and pragmatics, rather than simply through syntactic movement rules.

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