The more I'm reading about syntax, the more I'm starting to doubt my ability to judge the grammaticality of English sentences correctly... so I need some help with that. I'm a non-native speaker of English and I suspect I'm influenced by my mother-tongue (German) when assessing the grammaticality of English sentences.
Here's two complex WH-questions:
1) Where did he say he hid the treasure?
2) *Where might she ask he has been?
I'm fairly certain the first sentence is correct. If the first sentence is indeed correct, however, I fail to understand why the second sentence would be considered ill-formed (as indicated in the textbook I got the second example from; Radford: 2009). To me, their structure appears to be same.
For those acquainted with syntactic analysis:
As far as I can tell, example 1) has the underlying structure of:
[CP Where [C did [TP he [VP say [CP ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ [C ∅ [TP he [VP hid the treasure ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ]
The wh-question marker originates in the lower VP as a complement to the verb, moves up to the lower CP boundary and then leaves the lower clause for the specifier position of the higher CP. (Movement is indicated by strikethrough. I purposely left out the other types of movement (S-Aux, VPISH) going on.)
Whereas example 2) would have the underlying structure of:
[CP Where [C might [TP she [VP ask [CP ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ [C ∅ [TP he [T has [VP been ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ]
Again, the WH-question marker originates in the lower VP as a complement to the verb and first moves up to the lower CP boundary. It then leaves the lower clause for the specifier position of the higher CP. Radford posits that the WH-marker cannot move to the higher CP because the covert interrogative complementiser ∅ "freezes" it in place, thus producing only:
3) She might ask where he has been.
I can't see how this is the case here but not in other cases such as 1). Even if for whatever reason 1) turns out to be ungrammatical, other constructions such as 4) definitely allow long-distance WH-movement (also taken from Radford).
4) What might he think she is hiding?
[CP What [C might [TP he [VP think [CP ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ [C ∅ [TP she [T is [VP hiding ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ]
Am I wrong assuming that 1) is grammatical at all? What exactly is wrong with 2)?
Any help is appreciated!
Andrew Radford, 2009: An Introduction to English Sentence Structure. Chapter 5.7, pages 174-182.