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11.3.4. Wh-exclamatives
quickinfo

Exclamations can be made in many ways. In this section we are particularly interested in exclamative clauses with a designated exclamative element in first position. These are called wh-exclamatives because the designated element is a wh-word such as wat'what' in (382); see Section A3.1.2, sub V, for a more extensive discussion of the distribution of this element. We will ignore the use of welk(e)'which' and hoe'how' found in formal language and writing: cf. $Welk een dwaasheid (is dat)!'what folly that is!' and $Hoe spannend (is dat)!'How exciting that is!'.

382
a. Wat ben jij sterk!
  what  are  you  strong
  'How strong you are!'
a'. Wat ben jij een sterke vrouw!
  what  are  you  a strong woman
  'What a strong woman you are!'
b. Wat sterk ben jij!
  what strong  are  you
  'How strong you are!'
b'. Wat een sterke vrouw ben jij!
  what a strong woman  are  you
  'What a strong woman you are!'

Subsection I starts with a discussion of the semantics of wh-exclamatives on the basis of examples like (382a&a'); we will show that although it is generally assumed that wh-exclamatives give rise to an extremely-high-degree or an extremely-high-quantity reading, their meaning can be more adequately expressed in terms of "higher than expected", subsection II discusses two syntactic subtypes of wh-exclamative clauses, which are illustrated by, respectively, the (a)- and (b)-examples in (382). The first type is characterized by the fact that the first position of the clause is occupied by the exclamative wh-element only, while in the second type the exclamative wh-element is part of a larger phrase in initial position. This may give rise to the hypothesis that the exclamative wh-element is base-generated as part of a larger phrase, and that the (a)-examples are derived by stranding part of this larger phrase, while the (b)-examples are derived by pied piping it. We will show that this hypothesis is not viable and, more specifically, that the (a)-examples are in fact not derived by wh-movement at all, subsection III continues by showing that wh-exclamatives can also be embedded but that this requires the exclamative element to be embedded in a larger phrase in the initial position of the embedded clause; this is illustrated in the examples in (383). Furthermore the exclamative element may be different: while in main clauses the wh-element is always wat in colloquial speech, example (383a) shows that it sometimes must be realized as hoe'how' in embedded contexts.

383
a. Ik was vergeten [hoe/*wat sterk jij bent].
  was  forgotten  how/what strong  you  are
  'I had forgotten how strong you are.'
a'. * Ik was vergeten [hoe/wat jij sterk bent].
  was  forgotten  how/what  you  strong  are
b. Ik was vergeten [wat een sterke vrouw jij bent].
  was forgotten  what a strong woman  you  are
  'I had forgotten what a strong woman you are.'
b'. * Ik was vergeten [wat jij een sterke vrouw bent].
  was forgotten  what  you  a strong woman  are

The wh-exclamatives discussed in this section are merely instances of a wider range of constructions that can be used as exclamations. It is not the case, however, that all exclamations are relevant for syntactic descriptions; an exclamation such as Bah!'Yuk!', for example, should rather be described in lexicographic terms, subsection IV will provide a review of such constructions and discuss the question as to whether the various types should be given a syntactic or some other account. For want of in-depth syntactic investigations, this review will be necessarily of a preliminary nature.

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[+]  I.  Meaning

This subsection discusses the meaning of wh-exclamative constructions. It is often claimed that such exclamatives have an "extremely high degree" or an "extremely large quantity" reading, and Subsections A to C therefore start with a discussion of these prototypical readings. It has been suggested, however, that these readings do not constitute the core meaning of wh-exclamatives but are derived from two more basic properties: (i) wh-exclamatives are like wh-questions in that they behave semantically as operator-variable constructions (see Subsections A to C), and (ii) they are factive in the sense that the speaker presupposes the proposition expressed by the non- wh-part of the exclamative to be true (subsection D), subsection E will show that this enables us to derive a range of context-sensitive interpretations that can be characterized as "higher-than-expected-degree" or "larger-than-expected-quantity" readings.

[+]  A.  The extremely-high-degree reading

W h-exclamatives often express an extremely high degree. This can be illustrated by means of example (384a), in which the exclamative wh-element wat'what' expresses that the addressee has worked to a degree that exceeds a certain contextually given norm. This extremely-high-degree reading arises only if the wh-element does not function as an independent clausal constituent; cf. Bennis (1995/1998). In (384b), for instance, the wh-element hoe'how' functions as a manner adverb and this leads to an interrogative interpretation. Similarly, the wh-element wat functions as a direct object in (384c) and the construction must again be interpreted as a question. Ignore the elements Δi and ti in (384), which will be discussed shortly.

384
a. Wati heb jij vandaag Δi gewerkt!
wh-exclamative
  what  have  you  today  worked
  'Boy, how you have worked today!'
b. Hoei heb jij vandaag ti gewerkt?
wh-interrogative
  how  have  you  today  worked
  'How did you work today?'
c. Wat heb je gedaan?
wh-interrogative
  what  have  you  done
  'What have you done?'

Nevertheless, Corver (1990) and Zanutinni & Portner (2003) hypothesize that wh-phrases in questions and exclamatives perform a comparable function; they are operators that bind some variable in the clause. This means that questions and exclamations are similar in that they both denote open propositions or, in other words, sets of alternative propositions. The manner adverb hoe'how' in question (384b), for instance, gives rise to an open proposition that denotes a set of alternative propositions that differ in manner: the addressee may have worked well, badly, hard, with pleasure, with reluctance, etc. The exclamative construction in (384a) can likewise be seen as an open proposition, but in this case the alternative propositions differ in degree (here: intensity) only, for which reason we have represented the variable by means of the Greek capital Δ. The representation in (384a) of course does not yet answer the question as to why this example is normally used to express an extremely high degree, that is, that the addressee has worked exceptionally hard. We will return to this question in Subsection D.
      We have claimed above that exclamative wat in (384a) does not function as a clausal constituent. In order to substantiate this, we should show that wat differs from hoe in (384b) in that it cannot be used as a manner adverb. A first reason for assuming this is that (384a) does not allow an interrogative interpretation: if the wh-phrase wat were a manner adverbial, this would of course be quite surprising. Another reason is that exclamative wat is also possible if a manner adverb is overtly expressed; this is shown in (385a), in which wat can be assumed to bind a degree variable Δ of the manner adverb hard. Note in passing that it is not likely that Δ stands for a wh-trace of exclamative wat in this example given that degree adverbs normally cannot be extracted from pre-adjectival position by wh-movement. The (b)-examples illustrate this for the degree adverb hoe by showing that this wh-element obligatorily pied-pipes the full AP.

385
a. Wati heb jij vandaag [AP Δi hard] gewerkt!
wh-exclamative
  what  have  you  today  hard  worked
  'Boy, have you worked hard today!'
b. * Hoei heb jij vandaag [APti hard] gewerkt?
wh-interrogative
  how  have  you  today  hard  worked
b'. [AP Hoe hard]i heb jij vandaag ti gewerkt?
  how hard  have  you  today  worked
  'How hard did you work today?'

That wh-movement is not involved in the derivation of the type of wh-exclamatives under discussion is also clear from the fact illustrated in (386a) that wat can bind a degree variable embedded in an attributive modifier of a noun phrase. The (b)-examples show that wh-movement of the degree modifier hoe again gives rise to an unacceptable result in questions, as does, in fact, wh-movement of the full attributively used AP; the only option is movement of the full noun phrase, in (386a'').

386
a. Wati is dat [NP een [AP Δi mooi] boek]!
  what  is  that  beautiful  book
  'What a beautiful book that is!'
b. * Hoei is dat [NP een [APti mooi] boek]?
  how  is  that  beautiful  book
b'. * [AP Hoe mooi]i is dat [NP een ti boek]?
  how beautiful  is that  book
b''. [NP een [AP hoemooi] boek]i is dat ti?
  how beautiful  book  is that
  'How beautiful a book is that?'

Subsection II will provide more evidence for assuming that the derivation of examples like (384a), (385a) and (386a) does not involve wh-movement, but for the moment we will simply assume that exclamative wat is base-generated in clause-initial position in suchlike examples. Furthermore, we assume that exclamative wat requires a degree variable to be present in order to be licit. This requirement can be made to follow from a generally accepted economy constraint on natural language that states that an operator is only licit if it actually binds a variable: if an operator does not bind a variable, it is superfluous and should be omitted. This ban on vacuous quantification is also empirically motivated, as it provides a simple account for the acceptability contrast between the two examples in (387), taken from Krijgsman (1983). Under the plausible assumption that the phonetically empty degree variable Δ can only occur with gradable adjectives, exclamative wat can be licensed by a gradable adjective such as groot'big' but not by a non-gradable adjective such as houten'wooden'. Note that the number sign indicates that (387b) is marginally acceptable if wat is associated with some contextually determined gradable property that is left implicit with, e.g., the meaning "impressive", an option also found in the fully acceptable sentence Wat is dat een huis!'What an impressive house that is!'.

387
a. Wati is dat [een [AP Δi groot] huis]!
  what  is  that    a  big  house
  'What a big house that is!'
b. # Wati is dat [een [AP houten] huis]!
  what  is  that   a  wooden  house

The ban on vacuous quantification may also account for the acceptability contrast between (388a) and (388b); the fact that (388a) is fully acceptable is due to the fact that the degree modifier erg is gradable itself, as shown by [[heel erg] mooi], while the degraded status of (388b) is due to the fact that zeer is not gradable, as shown by *[[heel zeer] mooi]; cf. Krijgsman (1983). The same can perhaps be said for comparative forms such as mooier'more beautiful' in (388c), as these cannot be modified by degree adverbs like heel either (cf. *heel mooier), although this raises the potential problem that comparatives do allow modification by quantifiers like veel'much' (cf. veel mooier'much more beautiful'); we leave this problem to future research.

388
a. Wati is dat [NP een [APi erg] mooi] boek]!
  what  is  that  very  beautiful  book
  'What a very beautiful book that is!'
b. * Wat is dat [NP een [AP zeer mooi] boek]!
  what  is that  very beautiful  book
c. * Wat is dat een [NP een mooier boek]!
  what  is that  more.beautiful  book

The acceptability contrast between (389a) and (389b) also follows from the ban on vacuous quantification: example (389a) is acceptable because exclamative wat is properly binding a degree variable associated with the gradable quantifier veel in (389a), while (389b) is unacceptable because cardinal numbers are not gradable and thus cannot introduce a degree variable. Example (389c) is unacceptable for the same reason: a definite noun phrase like het antwoord'the answer' does not contain a degree variable.

389
a. Wati weet jij [NPi veel] dingen]]!
  what  know  you  many  things
  'How much you know!'
b. * Wat weet jij [NP [een miljoen] dingen]!
  what  know  you   a million  things
c. * Wat weet jij het antwoord!
  what  know  you  the answer

The fact that we can easily account for the acceptability judgments in (387) to (389) by means of the ban on vacuous quantification provides strong support for the hypothesis that wh-elements in wh-exclamatives function as operators that must bind a phonetically empty degree variable.

[+]  B.  The extremely-large-quantity reading

The extremely-high-degree reading discussed in Subsection A is not the only reading found with wh-exclamatives: if the wh-element in clause-initial position is associated with a certain type of noun phrase, an extremely-large-quantity reading may also arise; a prototypical example is (390a). The examples in (390b&c) show that the noun phrase must satisfy certain criteria in order for the extremely-large-quantity reading to be possible: a count noun such as boek'book' must be plural and the noun phrase must contain the spurious indefinite article een; the notion "spurious" is used here because the indefinite article een normally cannot be used in plural noun phrases; see N5.1.

390
a. Wat heb jij een boeken!
  what  have  you  a books
  'What a lot of books you have!'
b. # Wat heb jij een boek!
  what  have  you  a book
c. * Wat heb jij boeken!
  what  have  you  books

The number sign in (390b) indicates that this example is at least marginally acceptable with an extremely-high-degree reading, in which case wat is associated with some contextually determined gradable property that is left implicit, such as "impressive"; the same in fact holds for (390a), which is therefore ambiguous; see Subsection C for more examples of such ambiguities.
      A non-count noun like water'water' is also compatible with an extremely-large-quantity reading: it appears in the singular (as it does not have a plural form), but must again be preceded by the spurious indefinite article een, as is clear from the fact that example (391b) is unacceptable.

391
a. Wat ligt daar een water!
  what  lies  there  a water
  'So much water over there!'
b. * Wat ligt daar water!
  what  lies  there  water

If Zanutinni & Portner (2003) are correct in assuming that exclamative wh-phrases are operators that must bind some variable, the acceptability contrasts in (390) and (391) strongly suggests that the spurious article een is able to introduce a variable ranging over quantities; see Bennis (1998) for a similar conclusion.

[+]  C.  Ambiguity

Plural noun phrases such as (392a), which contain both a gradable attributively used adjective and the spurious article een, are ambiguous between an extremely-high-degree and an extremely-large-quantity reading. If we omit the spurious article, as in (392b), the extremely-large-quantity reading becomes unavailable. If we omit the gradable adjective, as in (392c), the extremely-large-quantity reading becomes the most prominent one (although an extremely-high-degree reading remains at least marginally possible with respect with some contextually determined gradable property that is left implicit). If we omit both the spurious article and the gradable adjective, the result is unacceptable.

392
a. Wat heeft Jan [NP een mooie boeken]!
ambiguous
  what  has  Jan  a beautiful books
  'What (a lot of) beautiful books Jan has!'
b. Wat heeft Jan [NP mooie boeken]!
extremely high degree
  what  has  Jan  beautiful books
  'What beautiful books Jan has!'
c. Wat heeft Jan [NP een boeken]!
extremely large quantity
  what  has  Jan  a books
  'What a lot of books Jan has!'
d. * Wat heeft Jan [NP boeken]!
uninterpretable
  what  has  Jan  books

The interpretations and judgments above are all expected if the spurious indefinitie article een and gradable adjectives are able to introduce a degree variable that can be bound by the exclamative operator wat. However, if the spurious article een and the gradable adjective mooi in (392) are indeed both able to introduce a degree variable, we expect example (392a) to simultaneously express the extremely-high-degree and the extremely-large-quantity reading, given that Subsection IIB will show that exclamative wat is able to bind more than one variable. It does seem that example (392a) is capable of expressing these two readings simultaneously, but it is not clear that this is obligatory given that the extremely-high-degree reading is the most prominent and for some speakers even the only possible one. If the extremely-large-quantity reading is optional, we may have to conclude that spurious een has some other function in addition to the introduction of a quantity variable; we leave this issue for future research.

[+]  D.  Factivity

Since Elliott (1974) and Grimshaw (1979) it has generally been accepted that exclamatives are factive in the sense of Kiparsky & Kiparsky (1970) that the speaker presupposes the truth of the proposition expressed by the utterance. So, a speaker uttering the exclamative in (384a), repeated here as the first part of (393), presupposes that the addressee did work today. This is clear from the fact that this utterance cannot felicitously be followed by the question given as the second part of (393), as it questions the truth of the presupposed proposition. We indicated this by means of the dollar sign.

393
Wati heb jij vandaag gewerkt! $Of heb je vandaag niet gewerkt?
  what  have  you  today  worked    or  have  you  today  not  worked
'How you have worked today! Or didnʼt you work today?'

Exclamations crucially differ in this respect from questions. This is clear from the examples in (394). While the exclamation in (394a) cannot be followed felicitously by the question Of heb je geen boeken gekocht? because it questions the truth of the presupposed proposition, the question in (394b) can readily be followed by it; this shows that the speaker does not presuppose that the addressee has bought books by uttering the question Welke boeken heb je gekocht?

394
a. Wat heb jij een boeken gekocht! $Of heb je geen boeken gekocht?
  what  have  you  a books  bought   or  have  you  no books  bought
  'How many books you have bought! Or havenʼt you bought any books?'
b. Welke boeken heb je gekocht? Of heb je geen boeken gekocht?
  which books  have  you  bought  or  have  you  no books  bought
  'Which books did you buy? Or havenʼt you bought any books?'

Elliott and Grimshaw further support the claim that exclamatives are factive by showing that they cannot be selected by non-factive verbs; while we do find exclamative clauses as complements of the factive verb weten'to know', such clauses do not occur as complements of the non-factive verb beweren'to contend'.

395
a. Marie weet [wat een mooie boeken Peter heeft].
  Marie knows  what a beautiful books  Peter has
  'Marie knows what beautiful books Peter has.'
b. * Marie beweert [wat een mooie boeken Peter heeft].
  Marie contends  what a beautiful books  Peter has

That the speaker presupposes the truth of the proposition expressed by the embedded exclamative is also clear from the acceptability contrast indicated in (396): cf. Grimshaw (1979:283). Because the speaker presupposes the truth of the proposition expressed by the exclamative, the use of the first person pronoun leads to an incoherent result in (396b) as the speaker cannot deny to have knowledge about the truth of a proposition that he is presupposing to be true. Example (396a), on the other hand, is coherent; the speaker can easily deny that Marie has knowledge about the truth of a proposition that he is presupposing to be true.

396
a. Marie weet niet [wat een mooie boeken Peter heeft].
  Marie  knows  not   what a beautiful books  Peter has
  'Marie doesnʼt know what beautiful books Peter has.'
b. $ Ik weet niet [wat een mooie boeken Peter heeft].
  know  not   what a beautiful books  Peter has
  'I do not know what a beautiful books Peter has.'
[+]  E.  Widening

Subsections A through C have shown that wh-exclamatives prototypically express an extremely-high-degree or an extremely-large-quantity reading. Other notions often used in describing the interpretation of exclamatives include "surprise", "unexpectedness", "emotional reaction" and "noteworthiness". Now consider the wh-exclamatives in (397), which are used to express that the book under discussion is very expensive and thus seem to imply the truth of the propositions expressed by the declarative clauses in the primed examples.

397
a. Wat is dat boek duur!
  what  is  that book  expensive
  'How expensive that book is!'
a'. Dat boek is zeer duur.
  that book  is very expensive
  'That book is very expensive.'
b. Wat is dat een duur boek!
  what  is that  an expensive book
  'How expensive a book that is!'
b'. Dat is een zeer duur boek.
  that  is a very expensive book
  'That is a very expensive book.'

It would be wrong, however, to conclude that the primeless and primed sentences are equivalent, as there are many cases in which speakers could easily use the primed examples without necessarily being able to use the primeless examples. To present-day standards, for instance, a hardcover 300 page book that costs 100 euro's would normally be called very expensive, so that any speaker could easily use the primed examples in (397) to discuss such a book. A speaker who opens the book and finds out that the book is written by a popular, best-selling novelist would probably also be able to use exclamatives like (397a&b). On the other hand, a linguist who knows that the book is on linguistics would probably not use these exclamatives since he knows that many scientific publishers ask twice as much for similar publications. This shows that the expectation of the speaker is a decisive factor in determining the appropriateness of the use of wh-exclamatives.
      Zanutinni & Portner (2003) claim that the notions mentioned above are not basic and are actually pragmatic implicatures derived from the two core properties of wh-exclamatives we have already discussed in the previous subsections. First, such exclamatives are constructions in which an operator binds a degree/quantity variable and thus denote a set of alternative propositions that differ in degree or quantity. Second, wh-exclamatives are factive; the speaker presupposes the truth of the proposition expressed by the non- wh-part of the exclamation.
      Zanutinni & Portner's claim that the notions normally used to characterize the interpretation of wh-exclamatives are pragmatic implicatures is based on a particular view on discourse semantics. In any conversation, there is a set of propositions that the speaker and addressee equally hold true, the so-called common ground. For a sentence to be successfully asserted, the proposition it contains must be added to the common ground. Because the truth of the proposition expressed by the non- wh-part of a wh-exclamative is already presupposed, such exclamatives are less useful for assertion. Because every utterance must have some function, wh-exclamatives must have a function –other than assertion– that is compatible with their factivity; Zanutinni & Portner propose that this function is affecting, or more specifically, widening the common ground.
      We will explain the notion of widening on the basis of the examples in (398). Assume that the common ground includes a height scale applicable to adult humans, which ranges from 1.70 to 1.90 meter. The assertion expressed by (398a) would establish that Jan occupies a high position on this scale. Zanutinni & Portner claim that the wh-exclamative in (398b) widens this scale and locates Jan on the extended part of it; this derives the extremely-high-degree reading discussed in Subsection A. Note in passing that we might also expect an extremely-low-degree reading of (398b) to arise, but this can be excluded by Grice's (1975) Maxim of Quantity because the use of groot'tall' will be blocked for expressing this reading by its more informative antonym, klein'short'.

398
a. Jan is groot.
  Jan is tall
a'. Peter is klein.
  Peter is short
b. Wat is Jan groot!
  what  is  Jan tall
  'How tall Jan is!'
b'. Wat is Peter klein!
  what  is Peter short
  'How short Peter is!'

Although Zanutinni & Portner do not discuss this, it seems that their reasoning does not necessarily lead to an extremely-high-degree reading of exclamatives; what is predicted is simply a higher-than-expected-degree reading, and it seems that this is correct. Suppose Jan has a garden that needs intensive watering. In order to save drinking water, he has installed a 2000 liter water tank fed by rainwater. After a modest shower he inspects the contents of the tank and finds that it is already half full. Since this is much more than he had expected, he can easily express his surprise by using the exclamative in (399a); the crucial point is that we are not dealing with an extremely high degree, but simply with a higher-than-expected degree. After the water tank has been completely filled, there is a drought. Jan starts watering the garden and after two weeks he peeks into the water tank, and to his surprise the tank is still half full. Since this is much more than he had expected, he can readily express his surprise by using the exclamative in (399b); the crucial point is again that we are not dealing with an extremely high degree, but with a higher-than-expected degree. For the use of al'already' and nog'still' in these examples, we refer the reader to Sections A3.2, sub II, A3.2, sub III, and A3.3, sub I.

399
a. Wat is de waterbak al vol!
  what  is the water.tank  already  full
  'How full the water tank already is!'
b. Wat is de waterbak nog vol!
  what  is the water.tank  still  full
  'How full the water tank still is!'

The examples in (399), which where inspired by a similar example provided by Castroviejo (2006), which was also cited in Villalba (2008), clearly show that the extremely-high-degree reading prototypically found in wh-exclamatives is not a inherent part of the meaning of wh-exclamatives. This reading is pragmatically derived from the more semantic basic properties of exclamatives, as is clear from the fact that it arises under the proper contextual circumstances only.

[+]  II.  Two syntactic types of wh-exclamative

Wh-exclamatives come in two different forms; the exclamative wh-phrase can be part of a larger phrase that occupies the clause-initial position or it can occupy this position on its own. This was already illustrated in example (382); more examples are given in (400). For reasons that will become clear shortly, we will refer to the (a)-examples as the non-split pattern and to the (b)-examples as the pseudo-split pattern.

400
a. Wat snel is die auto!
  what fast  is that car
  'How fast that car is!'
a'. Wat een snelle auto heb jij!
  what a fast car  have  you
  'What a fast car you have!'
b. Wat is die auto snel!
  what  is that car  fast
  'How fast that car is!'
b'. Wat heb jij een snelle auto!
  what  have  you  a fast car
  'What a fast car you have!'

The main question in this subsection will be whether or not wh-movement is involved in the derivation of the wh-exclamatives in (400). In order to establish this, we should show that the two constructions exhibit at least the three characteristic properties of wh-movement listed in (401).

401
a. There is an obligatory interpretative gap, viz., the trace left by wh-movement.
b. The antecedent-trace relation can be non-local in bridge-verb contexts.
c. The antecedent-trace relation is island-sensitive.

Our survey will lead to the conclusion that the non-split pattern in the (a)-examples does involve wh-movement of the phrase containing the wh-element wat into clause-initial position, whereas the wh-element wat in the pseudo-split pattern in the (b)-examples is base-generated in clause-initial position. The latter claim motivates the use of the notion pseudo-split pattern for the (b)-examples in (400), as these do not involve actual splitting of a larger phrase by wh-movement, subsection A and B successively discuss the non-split and the pseudo-split pattern.

[+]  A.  Non-split pattern

Non-split exclamative wh-phrases may perform several syntactic functions. The examples in (402) show that they can easily be used as arguments and predicates; the wh-phrases are related to an interpretive gap within the clause with the function of, respectively, subject, direct object and complementive. Because this shows that non-split wh-exclamative constructions exhibit the characteristic property of wh-movement in (401a), we indicate the interpretive gap by means of a trace. The remainder of this subsection will show that this is fully justified as the non-split pattern also exhibits the other characteristic properties of wh-movement in (401b&c).

402
a. [Wat een mooie boeken]i staan er ti in die kast!
subject
  what a beautiful books  stand  there  in that bookcase
  'What beautiful books there are in that bookcase!'
b. [Wat een mooie boeken]i heb je ti gekocht!
direct object
  what a beautiful books  have  you  bought
  'What beautiful books you have bought!'
c. [Wat mooi]i zijn die boeken ti!
complementive
  what beautiful  are  those books
  'How beautiful those books are!'

The wh-movements indicated in (402) are obligatory; the unacceptability of the examples in (403) shows that leaving the wh-phrase in the position indicated by the trace results in ungrammaticality. The number sign in (403c) indicates that this example is acceptable without an exclamative intonation if wat is interpreted as an intensifier with the meaning "quite"; we will ignore this reading here. It should further be noted that, for unknown reasons, example (403c) improves considerably if the particle maar is added: Die boeken zijn maar wat mooi! We leave this issue for further research.

403
a. * Er staan [wat een mooie boeken] in die kast!
  there  stand   what a beautiful books  in that bookcase
b. * Je hebt [wat een mooie boeken] gekocht!
  you  have   what a beautiful books  bought
c. # Die boeken zijn wat mooi!
  those books  are  what beautiful

The obligatoriness of wh-movement follows if we assume that exclamative wat must be moved into clause-initial position in order to create an exclamative operator-variable configuration; see the discussion in Subsection I. As the initial position of a clause can be occupied by a single constituent only, we should also conclude that exclamative wat can be part of a larger phrase and is able to pied-pipe this larger phrase under wh-movement. That pied piping is common in non-split wh-exclamatives can also be illustrated by means of the examples in (404) in which exclamative wat is more deeply embedded in a prepositional object/complementive: wh-movement of wat triggers movement of the full PP.

404
a. [Over wat een rare onderwerpen]i schrijft hij toch ti!
PP-complement
  about what a strange topics  writes  he  prt
  'What strange topics he writes about!'
b. [Op wat een grote stoel]i zit jij ti!
PP-complementive
  on what a big chair  sit  you
  'What a big chair you are sitting in!'

Pied piping also occurs if exclamative wat is part of an adverbial phrase. This is illustrated in (405) by means of, respectively, an adjectival and prepositional adverbial phrase of manner.

405
a. [Wat zorgvuldig]i heb jij ti gewerkt!
  what carefully  have  you  worked
  'How meticulously you have worked!'
b. [Met wat een grote zorgvuldigheid]i heb jij ti gewerkt!
  with what a great care  have  you  worked
  'With what a great care you have worked!'

The examples in (404) and (405) again illustrate that non-split wh-exclamatives exhibit the characteristic property of wh-movement in (401a): the wh-phrase in clause-initial position is the antecedent of an interpretative gap within the clause with various functions: argument, complementive and adverbial.
      Let us now continue with property (401b), according to which the antecedent-trace relation can be non-local in bridge-verb contexts. Extraction of an exclamative wh-phrase from an embedded clause always gives rise to a somewhat marked result, but there seems to be a consensus that it is possible if the matrix clause is headed by a bridge verb such as zeggen'to say'; cf. Krijgsman (1983:132), Corver (1990:ch.4) and Bennis (1998).

406
a. (?) [Wat een mooie boeken]i zei hij [dat er ti in die kast staan]!
subject
  what a beautiful books  said he   that  there  in that bookcase  stand
  'What beautiful books he said are in that bookcase!'
b. (?) [Wat een mooie boeken]i zei hij [dat je ti gekocht hebt]!
direct object
  what a beautiful books  said  he   that  you  bought  have
  'What beautiful books he said you have bought!'
c. (?) [Wat mooi]i zei hij [dat die boeken ti zijn]!
complementive
  what beautiful  said  he   that  those books  are
  'How beautiful he said those books are!'

That the examples in (406) are indeed relatively good becomes especially clear when we compare them to the examples in (407) in which the matrix clause is headed by the factive, non-bridge verb betreuren'to regret'. In order to make the interpretation of these examples more plausible, we have replaced the adjective mooi'beautiful' by the adjective saai'boring', but the results are still infelicitous. We conclude from the contrast between the two sets of examples in (406) and (407) that non-split wh-exclamatives exhibit property (401b): the antecedent-trace relation can be non-local in bridge-verb contexts.

407
a. * [Wat een saaie boeken]i betreurde hij [dat er ti in die kast staan]!
  what a boring books  regretted  he  that  there  in that bookcase  stand
b. * [Wat een saaie boeken]i betreurde hij [dat je ti gekocht hebt]!
  what a boring books  regretted  he   that  you  bought  have
c. * [Wat saai]i betreurde hij [dat die boeken ti zijn]!
  what boring  regretted  he   that  those books  are

      Finally, we show that non-split wh-exclamatives are sensitive to islands. First, the examples in (408) show that exclamative wh-phrases cannot be extracted from interrogative clauses.

408
a. * [Wat een mooie boeken]i vroeg hij [of er ti in die kast staan]!
  what a beautiful books  asked he   if  there  in that bookcase  stand
b. * [Wat een mooie boeken]i vroeg hij [of je ti gekocht hebt]!
  what a beautiful books  asked  he   if  you  bought  have
c. * [Wat mooi]i vroeg hij [of die boeken ti zijn]!
  what beautiful  asked  he  whether  those books  are

Krijgsman (1983) shows that non-split wh-exclamatives are also sensitive to complex noun phrase configurations: example (409b) illustrates that it is impossible to extract an exclamative wh-phrase from a relative clause.

409
a. Jan verdedigde [de stelling [dat kernenergie zeer gevaarlijk is]].
  Jan defended   the thesis   that  nuclear.energy  very dangerous  is
  'Jan defended the claim that nuclear energy is very dangerous.'
b. * [Wat gevaarlijk]i verdedigde Jan [de stelling [dat kernenergie ti is]]!
  what dangerous  defended  Jan    the thesis   that  nuclear.energy  is

The examples in (408) and (409) thus show that non-split wh-exclamatives also exhibit the third, and final, characteristic property of wh-movement in (401c): the island-sensitivity of the antecedent-trace relation. It is therefore safe to conclude that wh-movement is involved in the derivation of non-split wh-exclamatives.

[+]  B.  Pseudo-split pattern

Now that we have established that the non-split pattern is derived by wh-movement, our next task is to show that the pseudo-split pattern does not involve wh