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Wh-question is another term for content question. In a language with overt wh-movement, a question introduced by a wh-phrase: what have they bought? Otherwise, a question containing a wh-element. Distinguished from yes-no question.

Term properties

Altrnative spellings are WH-question and wh-question (with only the first element italicized).


The term is basically only appropriate for English, but not for other languages that do not have question words beginning with wh-.


The term appears to have been common only since the 1960s. It is based on the equally new term wh-word (or wh-pronoun).

Other languages

German W-Frage


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

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