|From:||Thomas Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Monday, February 28, 2005, 0:59|
> I find nothing wrong with "Whom did who see?" I'm sure I've
> said that question myself, with an emphasis on "who."
Ah, but there's a catch: we must distinguish between so-called
echo-questions and regular wh-questions. Thus, English is not
normally considered a wh-in-situ language like Japanese or
Chinese, but we can get wh-words in situ if they are echo
A: "You'll never guess: of all people, John saw Mary at
the library today."
B: "John saw WHO at the library?!?"
Importantly, without this particular marked kind of discourse,
the sentence spoken by B, without emphasis, is ungrammatical.
So, the interesting thing is that in German, even not in echo
questions, it is according to some native speakers possible to
say "Wen liebt wer?" ("Whom loves who?"). English can't do the
equivalent. I'm not at all sure how common these kinds of
superiority effects are cross-linguistically; most likely, it
would be impossible to do the research, because grammar-writers
simply don't look for them.
Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637