W-Wort-Verdoppelung im Schweizerdeutschen

  • Natascha Frey


In some Swiss German dialects, wh-questions can show the wh-word at the end of the sentence in addition to its 'normal' sentence initial position. This phenomenon called wh-doubling raises some puzzling questions for linguistic theories, such as: what kind of processes are involved in wh-doubling (syntactic, phonological)? Does wh-doubling enrich the poor left periphery of Swiss German? Why do speakers use an additional wh-word that seems to be absolutely superfluous? I will argue that wh-doubling depends on the information structure of the question, more specifically on the function of the wh-word as a focus constituent. Wh-doubling is also used in a special type of rhetorical questions in Swiss High German where in addition to doubling wh-words undergo diminutive formation and reduplication. My paper pursues two main goals: (i) to give a detailed description of wh-doubling constructions with regard to geographical distribution and question type (rhetorical, alternative, echo etc.); (ii) to present syntactic analyses of similar wh-doubling phenomena in other languages considering their application to Swiss German data.
Frey, N. (2005). W-Wort-Verdoppelung im Schweizerdeutschen. Linguistik Online, 24(3). https://doi.org/10.13092/lo.24.640