This book can be read on two levels: as a novel empirical study of wh- interrogatives and relative constructions in a variety of languages and as a theoretical investigation of chain formation in grammar.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I investigates the distribution and interpretation of multiple wh- interrogative constructions, focusing on the workings of Superiority. Part II investigates the structure and derivation of relative constructions. The main languages discussed are Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, and English. The theoretical materials are in the generative grammar tradition.
Syntax of Scope takes up the issue of relative operator scope in generative grammar and offers a comparative study of quantifiers and interrogative wh-operators. The authors argue that the interaction of these operators is constrained by two interpretive principles: a Minimum Binding Requirement and a Scope Principle. These principles are shown to provide a unified account for the cross-linguistic similarities and variations in the interaction of operators. The authors present a comprehensive, contrastive study of operators in English and Mandarin Chinese and extend their investigation to Japanese in the last chapter.