This production study investigates the interaction of prosody, word order and information structure with respect to wh-constituents in Urdu. We contrasted immediately preverbal wh-constituents with immediately postverbal ones. The preverbal position is the default focus position in Urdu; the appearance of wh-constituents in the immediately postverbal position within the verbal complex is not well understood. In order to test various possible factors governing the appearance of immediately postverbal wh-constituents, target sentences with wh-constituents in both pre- and postverbal positions were presented in different pragmatic contexts and given to native speakers to pronounce. The results show a clear difference in prosodic realization between the pre- and the postverbal position. The preverbal position is consistent with focus prosody, the postverbal wh-phrases appear to occur when the verb is in focus.
Bibliographic reference. Jabeen, Farhat / Bögel, Tina / Butt, Miriam (2015): "Immediately postverbal questions in urdu", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 943-947.