Kotek, Hadas and Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, to appear. Wh-indeterminates in Chuj (Mayan).”
Canadian Journal of Linguistics.

This paper investigates the varied uses of wh-words in Chuj, an understudied Mayan language of Guatemala. Cross-linguistically, wh-words are commonly used not only for question-formation but also in a range of other constructions, including in wh-quantification, indefinites, and the formation of relative clauses. In Chuj, we will show that wh-words are used to form indefinites in certain limited environments, universal quantifiers, free choice items, and two kinds of free relatives — definite free relatives but also typologically rarer indefinite free relatives. We sketch an analysis of each construction, and discuss generalizations concerning their distribution. The varied uses of wh-words in Chuj supports the view that wh-words are used in two capacities: to generate alternatives, and to create a movement/binding relation.