Q03_Clause internal polar Q-marker

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This property has the value 'yes' when neutral, information-seeking, direct polar questions (yes/no-questions) are marked by a clause-internal Q(uestion)-marker.

The Q-marker can be a free particle, a clitic or a bound morpheme.

Note that so-called second-position question particles will fall under this definition, and should generate a 'yes' value.

This property has the value 'no' if a language has no clause-internal Q-markers.

A 'yes' value for this property is compatible with a 'yes' value for other expressions of polar questions.

Examples of non neutral, non information seeking questions



  1. English has the value 'no' for this property, as English does not have any clause-internal question particle.

  2. Finnish has the value 'yes' for this property, since the neutral polar question marker "–ko" is not initial:
    • ajoi-ko Olli illalla kaupunkiin
      drove-Q Olli evening-ADE town-ILL
      "Did Olli drive into town in the evening?"
    • (Example from Holmberg 2012:1b)
  3. Malagasy has the value 'yes' for this property, as the polar Q-marker "ve" is clause internal.
    • m.i.vidy mofo ho an'ny ankizy ve izy
      ASP.AT.buy bread for ACC'D child Q s/he
      "Does s/he buy bread for the children?"
    • (Example adapted from Paul 2000:9)
      Comment: See Paul (2000) for arguments that "ve" is in fact always in second position.
Contributed by: Anders Holmberg and Craig Sailor
Language Value Contributor Comments
   =Hoan No Chris Collins
   Afrikaans No Theresa Biberauer
+ Albanian No Dalina Kallulli
  Words: Beni (a) erdhi?
  Gloss: Ben.the(NOM) (Q-marker) came.3SG
  Translation: Did Ben come?
  Comment: Not quite sure: the subject could be left-dislocated here, especially since the (optional) polarity Q-marker a can intervene. This is why I set it to no.
  Contributor: Dalina Kallulli
   American Sign Language No Natasha Abner
   Amharic No Girma Demeke
   Ancient Greek No Richard Faure
   Arabic, Gulf No Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Bafut No Pius Tamanji
   Bandial Yes Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi Yes Claire Bowern
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Brazilian Portuguese No Ananda Lima
   Burmese No Timothy Ho
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
  Words: ngo muijat jam di seoi
  Gloss: I every-day drink some water
  Translation: I drink water every day.
  Comment: di ‘some’ is not a classifier.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Czech No Pavel Caha
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo Yes Hilda Koopman
   Dutch No Hilda Koopman
   English No Craig Sailor
   English (Singapore) No Adam Chong
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Finnish Yes Anders Holmberg
   French No Vincent Homer The answer could be "yes" if we decided to treat -t as a Q-marker. Ex. "Jean aime-t-il Marie ? (Jean likes T he Marie?). Some varieties of French, viz Québec French, clearly have a clause internal Q marker.
   Ga No Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician No Naír García
   Garifuna Yes Pam Munro
   georgian No Lea Nash
   German No Viola Schmitt
+ Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: Sau ist sa sunus izwar?
  Gloss: this-u.Q is the sun your.NOM.M.SG?
  Translation: Is this your son?
  Comment: John 9:19
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: Magutsu driggkan?
  Gloss: can-u.Q drink?
  Translation: Can you drink?
  Comment: Mark 10:38
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: E-fta-se o Janis s-to stathm-o?
  Gloss: PST-arrive-PST.3.SG the.NOM.SG John to-ACC.SG station-ACC.SG
  Translation: 'Has John arrived at the station?'
  Comment: Greek allows both SV and VS orders. Polar questions always involve V- or Aux-fronting and special intonation.
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Petros Karatsareas
   Greek (Homer) No Chiara Bozzone
   Greek (Medieval) No Io Manolessou
   Guébie Yes Hannah Sande
   Gungbe (Porto-Novo) No Enoch Oladé Aboh
   Haitian No Michel DeGraff
   Hausa No Russell Schuh
   Hebrew No Ur Shlonsky
   Hebrew (Biblical) No Massimo Gargiulo
   Hindi Yes Anoop Mahajan
+ Hungarian Yes Anna Szabolcsi
  Words: Akarsz-e vizet?
  Gloss: want-2sg-Q water-ACC
  Translation: Do you want water?
  Comment: Q is obligatory in complement yes/no questions. In main clauses it is in complementary distribution with yes/no intonation.
  Contributor: Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio No Willie Willie
   Icelandic No Jim Wood
   Igbo No Mary Amaechi
   Iha No Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua Yes UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian No Mark Donohue
   Italian No Adriana Belletti
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Jamaican Creole English No Stephanie Durrleman
   Japanese No Jun Yashima
   K'iche' No Pam Munro
   Kashaya No John Gluckman
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kinande No Patricia Schneider-Zioga and Philip Mutaka
   Kom No Richard Kwamong
   Korean No Grace Lee
+ Koyo Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: O yi la bOgo zarUle
  Gloss: he know Q book read.ing?
  Translation: Does he know how to read?
  Comment: Kokora 1976 2.32a
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   Kuot No Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) No Yadgar Karimi
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal No Florian Lionnet
   Lango No Arwa Rangwala
+ Latin Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: Vides-ne me etiam iocari
  Gloss: see.2SG.Q I.ACC also play.DEPONENT
  Translation: Do you see me playing too?
  Comment: Cic. Att. 7,17,1
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo
  Comment: -ne is residual in Late Latin authors according to Brown, Joseph & Wallace (2009: 519) = H. Paul Brown, Brian D. Joseph, and Rex E. Wallace, 'Questions and Answers', in Baldi and Cuzzolin (eds), New Perspectives on Historical Latin Syntax, Vol. 1, 489-530.
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
   Lithuanian No Felix Thies
   Maasai (Kisongo) No Hilda Koopman
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
+ Malagasy Yes Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
  Words: m-i-tady an'i Lalao any Antsirabe ve Rabe
  Gloss: AT.PRES-AT-seek ACC'DET Lalao there Antsirabe Q Rabe
  Translation: Is Rabe looking for Lalao in Antsirabe?
  Comment: The polar question marker 've/va' appears following the entire predicate and preceding the subject/topic.
  Contributor: Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
   Malayalam No Mythili Menon
   Mandarin No Arthur Wang
+ Marshallese Yes Heather Willson Sturman
  Words: Kwo-j etal ke n̄an Rita?
  Gloss: 2sg-prs go Q to Rita
  Translation: Are you going to Rita?
  Contributor: Heather Willson Sturman
   Moroccan Arabic No Arwa Rangwala
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) No John Garcia
   Nawdm No Hannah Kim
   Nepali No Mark Donohue
   Nkore-Kiga No Hilda Koopman
   Northern Thai No Alif Silpachai
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh No Hilda Koopman
   Old English No ---
   Old French No Heather Burnett
   Old Norse No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   panjabi No Gurprit Bains
   Pashto No David Pate
   Polish No Barbara Tomaszewicz
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al Yes Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian Yes Denis Paperno
   Samoan Yes Hilda Koopman
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec No George Aaron Broadwell
   Sandawe Yes Helen Eaton
   Sasak No Nur Ahmadi and Eli Asikin-Garmager
   Shan No Alif Silpachai
   Shupamem No Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
   Skou No Mark Donohue
   Spanish No Victoria Mateu
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
+ Tagalog Yes Edith Aldridge
  Words: B<in>ili=ba nang babae ang libro?
  Gloss: <TR.PRF>buy=Q ERG woman ABS book
  Translation: Did the woman buy the book?
  Comment: The Q-marker is a second position clitic, generally appearing after the first prosodic word in the tensed clause.
  Contributor: Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min Yes Arthur Wang
   Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
   Thai No Peter Jenks
   Tommo-So No Laura McPherson
   Triqui, Copala No George Aaron Broadwell
   Tukang Besi No Mark Donohue
   Tuki (Tukombo) No Edmond Biloa
+ Tupi (Ancient) Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi Besides the interrogative particle -pe there is also an interrogative particle serã, which can be used affirmatively meaning 'maybe'. In negative sentences, serã enhances the meaning of the verb, like the adverb 'certainly' in English.
  Words: Ere-nhe’eng-y-pe peró supé?
  Gloss: 2.SG.speak-Q portuguese to
  Translation: Did you speak to the portuguese man?
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Turkish Yes Deniz Ozyildiz
  Words: Melda restoran-da mI tavuk yedi ?
  Gloss: Melda restaurant-LOC Q chicken eat-3S
  Translation: Is it at the restaurant that Melda ate chicken?
  Comment: The polar question particle immediately follows the element being questioned.
  Contributor: Deniz Ozyildiz
   Twi No Cansada Martin
+ Vata Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: n ka-la-bO saka li-e
  Gloss: you FUT-REP-bO rice prepare-Q
  Translation: Are you going to pepare rice again
  Comment: The clause final question particle can optionally be accompanied by a second particle bO ( homophonous to the D). bO follows the subject and INFL (the inflectional complex). Weak pronouns follow it in Vata, but in Gbadi, weak pronouns precede such particles. bo occurs in all relative clause. This suggests the following literal translation: is it a fait/true that you will go prepare rice again? This needs to be developed/ supported. (see Koopman 1984)
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
+ Vietnamese Yes Binh Ngo
  Words: Nam có học lớp này không?
  Gloss: Nam Q study class this Q
  Translation: "Is Nam taking this class?"
  Contributor: Binh Ngo
+ Warlpiri Yes Margit Bowler The Q-marker "-mayi" also frequently occurs clause-finally, as a tag question.
  Words: Luwa-rnu-mayi=npa marlu?
  Gloss: shoot-PST-Q=2SG.SUBJ kangaroo
  Translation: Did you shoot a kangaroo?
  Contributor: Margit Bowler
   West Flemish No Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian No Hrayr Khanjian
   Wolof No Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma
   Yémba No Elsie Mawamba
+ Zamboageño Chabacano Yes Grace Gaspardo
  Words: Ya llega ba le?
  Gloss: PST arrive Q 3SG
  Translation: Did he arrive?
  Contributor: Grace Gaspardo