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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.101 pp.19-40

Overt Wh-Word Fronting in Korean Revisited

YoungSik Choi**
** Professor, Soonchunhyang University


The nature of fronted wh-words in Korean type languages has been a topic of great controversy, with the widely held assumption being that they behave in a uniform fashion (Hoji 1985, Saito 1989, Takahashi 1993, 1994, Choe 1994, Cheng 1997, Bošković 1999). I challenge this common view, following the original proposal by Choi (2007b), claiming that the fronted wh-words in Korean are a heterogeneous set in that indefinite wh-words constitute focus movement, whereas the non-indefinite adjunct wh-word way ‘why’ is wh-movement. The heterogeneous nature of the fronted wh-words nicely deals with the contrast in superiority and wh-island effects along with the contrast in the cleft construction.