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Which-hunting in Medieval England

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-349
JournalCanadian Journal of Linguistics / Revue canadienne de linguistique
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


In many of the first English headed which-relatives, which has an NP complement. Using distributional tests grounded in contrasts revealed by research in formal semantics, we demonstrate that the presence of an NP complement forces a nonrestrictive interpretation of the relative, while ‘bare’ which-relatives may be restrictive or nonrestrictive. We situate this finding in relation to both the formal semantics of relative clauses, and the history of wh-relatives in English.

    Research areas

  • relative clauses, middle english, discourse anaphora, wh-phrases, parsed corpora

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