This paper analyzes the morphology and syntax of wh-expressions and agreeing complementizers in Wolof, an Atlantic language. I argue that Wolof possesses a set of null wh-expressions, in addition to a set of overt ones. The null wh-expressions occur in a relative clause-like construction in which they trigger agreement on a complementizer. I examine the properties of the null wh-expressions and compare them to their overt counterparts in Wolof. I provide evidence that the null wh-expressions, like the overt ones, move successive cyclically, and may trigger agreement on intermediate complementizers that occur in the movement pathway. I also compare the Wolof construction to a superficially similar complementizer agreement construction in the Bantu language Kinande, and to null operators in German and wh-drop in Dutch.
Torrence, H.2012. The morpho-syntax of silent wh-expressions in Wolof. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory30:1147–1184. http://dx.doi.org/dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s11049-012-9175-3