The Syntactic Derivation of Interrogative Verbs in Amis


  • Dong-yi Lin University of Florida


Interrogative words like maan 'what; how', icuwa 'where', and pina 'how many' in Amis have the same morphosyntactic distribution as verbs. The present paper argues that their use as verbs is not due to unconstrained lexical idiosyncrasies, but exhibits consistent syntactic and semantic patterns. Their grammatical properties and restrictions follow from the interaction of the following factors: The inherent semantics of interrogative words, the intended interpretation of the question where they occur, the verbal structures of the voice markers, and the syntactic principles and constraints like HMC and ECP.