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Q06_Polar question by Auxiliary-fronting

Definition
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This property has the value 'yes' if neutral, information-seeking, direct polar question, unlike declaratives, have an initial auxiliary in sentences containing both an auxiliary and a main verb.


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


Examples:

  1. English has the value 'yes' for this property since neutral, information-seeking, direct polar questions are formed by fronting of the auxiliary in sentences with an auxiliary and a verb.
    • Declarative: Anna has come.
      Question: Has Anna come?
  2. Finnish has the value 'yes' for this property, since neutral, information-seeking, direct polar questions have a fronted auxiliary immediately followed by the question-particle, in sentences with an auxiliary and a main verb:
    • Declarative: Anna on tullut kotiin
        Anna is come home
        "Anna has come home."
      Question: on-ko Anna tullut kotiin
        is-Q Anna come home
        "Has Anna come home?"
    • Finnish also has the value 'yes' for the property Polar question by V-fronting.
  3. Scottish Gaelic has the value 'no' for this property. A polar question may have an initial auxiliary (preceded only by a question particle), but this is also the case in declaratives (since Scottish is a so-called VSO language):
    • Declarative: tha Daibhidh ag òl cofaidh  
        be.PRS David PROG drink coffee  
        "David is drinking coffee."
      Question: a' bheil Daibhdh ag òl cofaidh
        Q be.PRS David PROG drink coffee
        "Is David drinking coffee?"
Contributed by: Anders Holmberg
Language Value Contributor Comments
   =Hoan No Chris Collins
+ Afrikaans Yes Theresa Biberauer
  Words: Het jy jou kaartjie gekoop?
  Gloss: have you your ticket bought
  Translation: Have you bought your ticket?
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
   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
   Bambara No Hilda Koopman
   Bandial No Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi NA Claire Bowern
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Brazilian Portuguese No Ananda Lima
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
   Catalan Yes Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
+ Czech Yes Pavel Caha
  Words: Petr bude psát dopis
  Gloss: Peter will write.inf letter
  Translation: Peter will write a letter / is going to write a letter
  Comment: a base-line sentence for the next one.
  Contributor: Pavel Caha
  Words: Bude Petr psát dopis?
  Gloss: will Peter write.inf letter
  Translation: Will Peter write the letter? Is Peter going to write the letter?
  Comment: Set against the first example, the sentence shows that only the aux moves. However, note that this is specific to the future aux `will.' Past tense aux is distinct:
  Contributor: Pavel Caha
  Words: Vy jste psali dopis
  Gloss: you.pl aux=be.2.pl written letter
  Translation: You were writing the latter
  Comment: a base line for the next ex:
  Contributor: Pavel Caha
  Words: *jste vy psali dopis?
  Gloss: are you.pl written letter?
  Translation: Were we writing the letter
  Comment: shows that the past aux cannot front. (probably related to the fact that the past aux is a 2nd position clitic, the future one not).
  Contributor: Pavel Caha
   Danish Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo No Hilda Koopman
+ Dutch Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: A: is je broer naar Parijs gegaan? B. Ja /nee /jawel) *Is/*Is gegaan/*hij is
  Gloss: A: Is your borther to Paris gone? B. ja / no/ yesdid)/ *is/ *is gone/*he is/
  Translation: A. Did your brother go to Paris? yes/no/ (*did/did go/he did /
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   English Yes Craig Sailor
   English (Singapore) Yes Adam Chong
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Farsi No Natasha Schimka
   Finnish Yes Anders Holmberg
+ French Yes Vincent Homer Only with subject clitics: Est-il venu ? (is he come?); *est Jean venu? (is Jean come?)
  Words: Est-il venu?
  Gloss: AUX-3SG.M come?
  Translation: Has he come?
  Comment: In order for this property to be valid, the subject must be a pronoun.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Ga NA Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician No Naír García
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   georgian No Lea Nash
   German Yes Viola Schmitt
   Gothic No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek Yes Giorgos Spathas
  Words: Ex-i erthi i Ana?
  Gloss: has-3.SG come the.SS.NOM Ann
  Translation: Has Anna come?
  Comment: The order Aux S V is ungrammatical, even though Greek allows SV orders in declarative sentences.
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Metin Bagriacik
   Greek (Homer) No Chiara Bozzone
   Greek (Medieval) No Io Manolessou
   Guébie No 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 No Anoop Mahajan
   Hungarian NA Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio No Willie Willie
   Icelandic Yes Jim Wood
   Igbo No Mary Amaechi
   Iha No Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua No UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian NA Mark Donohue
   Italian No Adriana Belletti
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) Yes Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) Yes Giovanni Roversi
   Jamaican Creole English No Stephanie Durrleman
   Japanese No Jun Yashima
   K'iche' No Pam Munro
   Kashaya NA John Gluckman
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kinande No Patricia Schneider-Zioga and Philip Mutaka
   Kom No Richard Kwamong
   Korean No Grace Lee
   Kuot No Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) No Yadgar Karimi
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal No Florian Lionnet
   Lango No Arwa Rangwala
   Lao No Alif Silpachai
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) No Chiara Gianollo
   Maasai (Kisongo) No Hilda Koopman
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
   Malayalam No Mythili Menon
   Mandarin No Arthur Wang
   Marshallese No Heather Willson Sturman
+ Moroccan Arabic No Arwa Rangwala
  Words: kaan ka.ya.mshii Ahmed
  Gloss: be.3SG.M.PST PRES.M.go.3SG Ahmed
  Translation: Did Ahmed go?
  Contributor: Arwa Rangwala
  Words: kaan Ahmed ka.ya.mshii
  Gloss: be.3SG.M.PST Ahmed PRES.M.go.3SG
  Translation: Did Ahmed go?
  Contributor: Arwa Rangwala
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) No John Garcia
   Nawdm No Hannah Kim
   Nepali No Mark Donohue
   Nkore-Kiga No Arwa Rangwala
   Northern Thai No Alif Silpachai
   Norwegian Yes Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh No Hilda Koopman
   Old English Yes ---
   Old French Yes Heather Burnett
+ Old Norse Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: kantu nokkut segja oss til Hákonar jarls?
  Gloss: can.2.S.PRS some.N.ACC. say us.DAT to Hakon.GEN earl.GEN
  Translation: Can you say something to us about Earl Hakon? (Hkr I, 39.3)
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Old Saxon Yes George Walkden There is only one example of this in the Heliand, but no reason to doubt that this is how polar questions are formed when auxiliaries are present.
  Words: ni mugun samad mid mi uuacon êne tîd
  Gloss: NEG may together with me wake.INF one tide
  Translation: Won't you stay awake with me for a while?
  Comment: (Heliand 4777-4778)
  Contributor: George Walkden
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   panjabi No Gurprit Bains
   Pashto No David Pate
+ Polish Yes Barbara Tomaszewicz
  Words: Będzie Piotr pisał list?
  Gloss: aux.Fut Peter write letter
  Translation: Will Peter be writing a letter?'
  Comment: Tentative yes. The future auxiliary seems to be able to form a naturally sounding question. More research needed. This word order sounds perfect when the question particle is added, see below.
  Contributor: Barbara Tomaszewicz
  Words: Czy będzie Piotr pisał list?
  Gloss: Q aux.Fut Peter write letter
  Translation: Will Peter be writing a letter?'
  Contributor: Barbara Tomaszewicz
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi When it occurs, in some varieties, a positive answer is expected. Therefore not neutral.
   Q'anjob'al No Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian Yes Denis Paperno
   Samoan No Hilda Koopman
   San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec No George Aaron Broadwell
   Sandawe No Helen Eaton
   Shan No Alif Silpachai
   Shupamem No Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
   Skou No Mark Donohue
   Spanish Yes Victoria Mateu
   Swedish Yes fredrik heinat
   Swiss German Yes Cecile Meier
   Tagalog No Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min No 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) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Deniz Ozyildiz
   Twi No Cansada Martin
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Binh Ngo
   West Flemish Yes Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian No Hrayr Khanjian
   Wolof No Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese No Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma
   Yémba No Elsie Mawamba
   Yan-nhaŋu No Claire Bowern
   Zulu No Claire Halpert