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"This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put."[edit]

This sounds fun and all, but the "up" in "put up" here is a verb particle, not a preposition, is it not? In that case, it would not be preposition stranding to do that. I think the sentence lacking preposition stranding should be, "This is the sort of bloody nonsense with which I will not put up." Cornince 22:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Introduction doesn't explain what the article is.[edit]

What is the Wh-movement? Is it like a reform movement? Is it the positioning of the interrogative pronouns? And what the heck is with the t in the examples? --TheRaven7 14:40, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the confusion is. The first sentence states the definition pretty explicitly:
Wh-movement (or wh-fronting or wh-extraction) is a syntactic phenomenon whereby interrogative words (sometimes called wh-words) appear at the beginning of an interrogative sentence.
In other words, languages that have wh-movement put their question words at the beginning of questions (i.e. "Who is that man?" instead of "That man is who?").
The t is already explained in the article as well:
In transformational approaches to syntax, wh-movement is analyzed literally in terms of constituent movement, where a moved constituent leaves behind a silent trace (often indicated by a t):
What does he buy t?
Umofomia 12:43, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

"This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put."[edit]

I agree with Cornince. This has nothing to do with pied-piping and should be removed.

This article wins worst written article of the year[edit]

It's completely unintelligable. -- 00:36, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Standard English[edit]

As a syntactician I must advise the author(s) against using the term "English" so broadly. Many structures that are ungrammatical in American English are perfectly grammatical in other dialects.

In Belfast English, for example, it IS considered grammatical invert subjects and verbs to form an embedded question:

(1) I wonder what did he buy.

(2) I wonder what should we eat for dinner.

I will be happy to provide sources; it will only be a matter of getting them scanned and posted to the internet. However, the grammaticality of the above structures is not the issue; referring to a general "English" is the problem.

Unless others object, I'd like to change references to English in this article to "Standard English" or "American English". Randomfocus (talk) 01:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

In "Standard English" you can say: "Tell me, what is the secret?" or "I wonder... what did he buy?". Are you sure the examples with inversion cannot be analyzed like that?  --Lambiam 06:58, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I think this poster has a perfectly valid point -- I'm sorry that I did not remember that when writing this section, and I've modified the article to reflect possible dialect variation. At some point, I should also say something about lack of subject-auxiliary inversion in some dialects of African American Vernacular English. G.broadwell (talk) 01:53, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

The irrelevance of Indo-European[edit]

I've deleted the part about Indo-European sound correspondences between English wh and Romance qu-, since I don't see how that is relevant to this article, which is about the syntax of moving an interrogative to the front of the sentence. Lambiam and I seem to disagree on this point :-) G.broadwell (talk) 01:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


I was trying to look for Subjacency Principle, and I was redirected here. However, there is no mention of it on this page. AmadanMath (talk) 05:58, 20 May 2009 (UTC)


How is "wh-" in "wh-movement" or "wh-word" pronounced? Palpalpalpal (talk) 11:09, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Double-you-aitch Yehuda Falk (talk) 17:05, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


There are a lot of who/whoms to be cleared up: as it stands there are some needless ambiguities and confusions (eg is 'who Paul saw' supposed to mean 'who saw Paul' or 'whom Paul saw'?). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I feel if this article is going to use 'whom', then it should be used whenever applicable. Currently, the article has a few 'whom's scattered about and ignores a great deal of situations where whom could (or should) be used. The article should either use 'whom' consistently, correctly and completely or 'who' in every case; otherwise, the article comes off as being pseudo-intellectual or half-arsed. (talk) 23:29, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

These linguistics articles in Wikipedia are quite often being attacked by the whom-police, proponents prescriptive grammar who believe that artificial rules should be imposed on language. The only environment in which whom sounds good to my ear is when it appears immediately after a preposition. Otherwise, whom is stitled; it sounds pretentious, and in fact, whom has mostly disappeared from spoken discourse. In this regard, I try to combat the whom-police when I discover their efforts. I will now check the article to make sure who and whom are being used accordingly. -- I just checked. The words who and whom are used in a way that sounds best to my ear. There is no problem here. --Tjo3ya (talk) 01:52, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Revision needed[edit]

This article needs to be improved. While much of the basic information it presents is correct and helpful, there are a number of shortcomings. The introduction is too dense, with too much difficult terminology that is too particular to one specific school of syntax. The examples used to introduce wh-fronting are less than clear, because they do not provide a clear comparison to the standard sentences where wh-fronting has not occurred. The entire article is hardly referenced, and the references that are provided are, again, largely particular to one school of syntax.

One indication that the article is not good concerns the declining number of page views. In October 2011, the article got this many page views:

In the last 30 days, the article got this many page views:

Most articles on linguistics in Wikipedia are receiving more page views (year on year). Fewer page views may be an indication that there is something fundamentally wrong with an article.

I am now going to begin a major revision of this article. I will soon post a link to my sandbox if anyone wants to provide feedback on the revision as it is being drafted. Or if anyone is opposed to this article being significantly redone, please state these objections. --Tjo3ya (talk) 04:34, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

The revision is under way. It can be viewed here. --Tjo3ya (talk) 22:00, 31 October 2012 (UTC)