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SYNTAX: the extraction island created by an embedded sentence which is introduced by a wh-word. EXAMPLE: the complement of wonder in (i)b is a wh-island. The contrast with (i)a serves to show that it is the wh-element to whom which blocks the extraction of what.

(i) a   what did you think [Bert gave t to Bobje]
    b  *what did you wonder [to whom Bert gave t t]
The ill-formedness of (i)b is usually explained as a Subjacency violation. In the Minimalist Program, wh-islands are analyzed as an effect of the Minimal Link Condition.
LIT. Chomsky, N. (1986b)
Chomsky, N. (1981)
Chomsky, N. (1964)
Ross, J.R. (1967)