Content questions: word order differs from declaratives

Simple Clauses - Interrogatives
Content questions distinguished from declaratives by word order (esp. subject-verb inversion) as well as by presence of Q-word (who, what, etc.)


Language Feature Status Grammatical Notes Source Created By Etymology Notes General Notes Phylogenetic Code
Cahuilla Jane Hill
Cupeño Jane Hill
Luiseño Jane Hill
Serrano Jane Hill
Kitanemuk Jane Hill
Kawaiisu Jane Hill
Timbisha Jane Hill
Western Mono Jane Hill
Chemehuevi Jane Hill
Southern Paiute Jane Hill
Southern Ute Jane Hill
Shoshone Jane Hill
Comanche Jane Hill
Idaho Shoshone Jane Hill
Northern Paiute Jane Hill
Gabrielino Jane Hill
Achagua no Wilson & Levinsohn 1992: 125 Ana Paula Brandao
Resígaro no Interrogative words remain in the "slot" for the element that is being questioned, although many of these are sentence-initial. (E.g. the word for "how" fills the "comparative" slot, which is a sentence-initial position.) Allin, 1976: 346-347 Aimee Lawrence
Bare no Aikhenvald, 1995: 46 Ana Paula Brandao
Piapoco yes The content word is preposed. Galindo, 2002: 273-274 Aimee Lawrence
Yukuna no Shauer and Shauer, 1978: 18 Aimee Lawrence
Yavitero yes Mosonyi, 1987: p. 64, 79 Aimee Lawrence
Wapishana no Only presence of q-word. Santos 2006 Ana Paula Brandao, Amanda Meeks
Wayuu yes In the text in Mansen and Mansen (1979), all examples of content questions have preposed question words. Aimee Lawrence
Tariana yes Question word is usually sentence-initial. Aikhenvald, 2003: 503 Aimee Lawrence
Apurinã yes clause-initial question word Facundes, 2000: 361 Aimee Lawrence
Asheninka Apurucayali yes Mihas 2010 Daniel Smith
Maipure no Zamponi 2003:51 Amanda Meeks
Yanesha' no The contet question word occurs sentence-initially but the other constituens remain as in declarative sentences Duff-Tripp 1997:184-6 Daniel Valle
Kinikinau no Souza 2008:131 Daniel Valle
Baure no "One thing that all interrogative clauses... Have in common, is the fact that the predicate of a clause appears in a nominalized form." Danielsen 2007: p350 Mitz Perez
Nanti yes The content word is preposed. Michael, 2008. p. 391 Aimee Lawrence
Paresi no Brandão 2010:13 Daniel Valle
Palikur no Green and Green 1972:20 Daniel Valle
Yine Matteson 1965 Daniel Smith
Añun no Patte 1989 Daniel Smith
Bora no Seifart - 2005:69 Amanda Meeks
Makiritare no Hall 1988: 344 Melody Ann Ross
Makushi no Abbott 1991: 46-48 Melody Ann Ross
Eñepa no Payne 2012:371-388 Daniel Smith
Pemon no info Daniel Valle
Guna no Smith texts Daniel Smith
Naso no Q words in-situ Quesada 2000 Daniel Smith
Ika no Frank 1990:6 Daniel Valle
Kogi no info Daniel Valle
Cabecar no info Daniel Valle
Guaymí no Quesada 2008:87-8 Daniel Valle
Damana no Queston words remain in the position of the argument they are replacing Williams 1993:118-9 Daniel Valle
Sikuani no there is a content question word ("détsa" (de Kondo); "de" (Queixalós)) which occurs before the question, but the order of the sentence itself is unchanged de Kondo (Vol.1,2) - 1985; Queixalós - 2000:22 Amanda Meeks
Macaguan yes question word comes first; subject-verb inversion Buenaventura - 1993:45 Amanda Meeks
Aguaruna no Overall 2007:478-9 Daniel Valle Presence of wh-word and no apocope in the verb marks content questions
Northern Emberá no 13 Daniel Valle
Waorani no Orr et all. 1991:21 Daniel Valle Word order is similar to declaratives sentences but a clitic is added to the questioned contituent
Ingá no Levinson 1972:260-4 Daniel Valle
Matses yes Content Q usually have the Q word sentence-initially but this is not obligatory Fleck:980-1 Daniel Valle
Mapudungun no Zúñiga 2006, p. 253-61 Daniel Valle
Páez no Jung:186-7 Daniel Valle
Quechua Ayacuchano no Parker 1965:92-94 Daniel Valle
Tikuna no Montes 2004b:101-120 Daniel Valle
Urarina no Olawsky:814-31 Daniel Valle
Waunana no Sánchez and Castro 1977:65 Daniel Valle
Andoke no Landaburu 1979: 149 Kelsey Neely
Puinave no Giron 2008: p335, 391-392 Mitz Perez, Daniel Valle
Central Aymara no Huayhua Pari 2001: 296 Shannon Dardis The simple interrogative sentence in Aymara has the same word order as the declarative sentence. The difference is that the interrogative has a question word with the suffix sa as it's subject and a rising intonation.
Kakua no Bolaños fieldnotes Katherine Bolaños
Kaingang no info Silva 2011 Daniel Smith
Minica Witoto no Sentence structure is the same for declarative as well as interrogative. Minor and Minor 1982. p.68 Christopher Clack
Hup no Epps 2008 Pattie Epps
Nadëb/Roçado dialect no Question words as first element, no word order change Weir 1984 Katherine Bolaños
Dâw yes Martins 2004 Katherine Bolaños
Desano no Miller 1999, p. 131 Chris Clack
Cubeo no content questions do include wh - words Morse & Maxwell 1999, p. 23 Amanda Novak
Kotiria no Stenzel 2004 Amanda Novak
Makuna no Smothermon & Smothermon 1993, p.61 Chris Clack
Koreguaje no Cook & Criswell 1993, p.56 Chris Clack
Barasano no Jones & Jones 1991, p.120 Chris Clack
Tanimuca no Strom 1992, p.141 Chris Clack
Siona yes Question word is clause-initial, and the subject & verb invert. Wheeler - 1987:137 Amanda Meeks
Tukano yes subject pronoun and verb are inverted West and Welch 2004: 22 Kelsey Neely
Yanomami no Ramirez 1994: 217 Kelsey Neely
Ninam no Goodwin-Gomez, p.60-61 Kelsey Neely
Sanumá no Borgman 1990: 66-67 Kelsey Neely
Surui no info Daniel Valle
Karitiana no The same strategy as yes/no questions is used Everett 2006:322:3 Daniel Valle
Nheengatu yes Cruz 2011 Daniel Smith
Paraguayan Guaraní yes Word order varies depending on which element is the focus Krivoshein and Acosta 2001:140-1 Daniel Valle
Aché no info Daniel Valle
Kokama yes Vallejos 2010:544 Daniel Smith
Nyangumarta no done 0
Jingulu no done 0
Wambaya no done 0
Bunuba no info done x
Walmajarri no? Done-Claire 0
Nyulnyul no done? 0
Warrwa no done 0
Worrorra no info done X
Garrwa yes 76 done 1
Gooniyandi no done 0
Warlpiri no info done 0
Bardi yes done-Claire 1
Yugambeh Y?
Yorta Yorta maybe 106 done 1
Yir Yoront Done-Dan
Yindjibarndi yes 164-165 done-Dan 1
Yidiny no done-Catherine 0
Yanyuwa yes 31 Done-Austin 1
Yandruwandha yes 66-7 Done-Dan 1
Yan-nhangu not yet
Yalarnnga yes 55 Done-Dan 1
Woiwurrung yes 77-78 done-Amalia 1
Wirangu yes 91 done 1
Wemba-Wemba no H 53 done-Amalia 0
Warumungu yes 55 done-Amalia 1
Wangkumara yes 46 done 1
Uradhi No 390 Y 0
Paakantyi no 167-170 Y-Hannah 0
Pitta-Pitta yes 214 Done-Amalia 1
Pintupi no 196; 216 done-Hannah 0
Nyungar no info done x
Nhanta yes 126 Done-Hannah 1
Ngiyambaa no 259 Done-Emily 0
Ngayawang No info done-Amalia x
Muruwari yes 120 Done-Dan 1
Mayi-Yapi yes 69-70 done 1
Martuthunira yes 236-238 done 1
Marrgany yes 338 Done-Amalia 1
Kuuk Thaayorre No 482 Done-Amalia 0
Kuku Yalanji no 195 Done-Jessica 0
Kugu-Nganhcara No 404 done-Amalia 0
Kaurna No info done-Amalia x
Kalkatungu yes 103 Done-Dan 1
Jaru no info Done-Amalia x
Guugu-Yimidhirr No 70 Done-Amalia 0
Gureng Gureng no info Done-Amalia x
Gumbaynggirr yes 288 done-Amalia 1
Gugu-Badhun no 152 done-Jessica 0
Yuwaalaraay Yes 57 1
Dyirbal No 291 done-Amalia 0
Duungidjawu yes 63-4 done 1
Djinang no info 45-9 Done-Amalia x
Djabugay done
Diyari yes 151 done-Hannah 1
Dharawal no info 59 done-Hannah w Dhurga) x
Darkinyung no 55-6 done 0
Bularnu yes 98 Done-Austin 1
Biri no info 56 done-Jessica x
Bidjara-Gungabula yes 46 done-Jessica 1
Batyala no info Done-Amalia x
Arabana no info Done-Dan x
Alyawarr no 127-8 done 0
Nyikina no done-Claire 0
Yawuru Y-Claire
Yulparija Yes 33 Done-Amalia 1
Wathawurrung no 80 done 0
Mathi-Mathi yes 104-105 done-Amalia 1
Hunter River and Lake Macquarie no 50 done-Amalia 0
Thanggati yes 37 done 1
Katthang yes 56 done-Amalia 1
Panyjima no info done x
Ngarinyeri yes 30-31 done-Amalia 1
Kurrama no 215 done-Dan 0
Yingkarta no Done-Claire 0
Githabul yes 45 Done-Amalia 1
Gunya yes 338 Done-Amalia 1
Kunjen yes 131 Done- 1
WesternTorres no? FO 128-9 done 0
Wakaya no done 0
Yindjilindji yes 504 done 1
Bandjalang No info Done-Amalia x
Ngaatjatjara No 101 done 0
Arrernte No 97 0
Kokatha No 67 0
Karajarri No 241 Done-Amalia 0
Pitjantjatjara Yes G 249 1
Ritharrngu Yes 103 Done-Amalia 1
Warrgamay Yes 83 Done-Amalia 1
Warluwarra yes 874 Done-Amalia 1
Warnman Yes 40 Done-Amalia 1
Djapu no info x
Bilinarra no info done x
Wiradjuri no info done x
Aghu-Tharnggala Yes 69 Y2 1
Narungga No 91 done 0
Tharrkari No 17 0
Wajarri No 86 0
Warungu no? 321-4 0
Adnyamathanha Y2
Yagua yes Payne and Payne 1990 Daniel Smith
Baniwa no Ramirez 2001 Patience Epps