12 Position of interrogative phrases in content questions

This feature is described more fully in chapter 12.


This feature (based on WALS feature 93, by Matthew S. Dryer) concerns the position of interrogative phrases (or "wh-phrases") in the clause. In many languages, the interrogative phrase is normally or obligatorily fronted in content questions, i.e. occurs initially in the clause. This is normal in English (e.g. What did you see?) and most other European languages. But in other languages, the interrogative phrase can occur in the position in which it would occur in the corresponding declarative (”in situ”), or in another special position (e.g. a preverbal focus position). Here we only distinguish two possibilities: initial and non-initial (i.e. in situ or in some other non-initial position)


Martin Haspelmath and the APiCS Consortium


Interrogative phrase initial313566
Interrogative phrase not initial103545

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details