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Negation and negative concord in romance

By Henriëtte de Swart and I.A. Sag


This paper addresses the two interpretations a combination of negative\ud indefinites can get in concord languages like French, namely a concord reading\ud which amounts to a single negation, or a double negation reading. We\ud develop an analysis in a polyadic framework, in which a sequence of negative\ud indefinites can be interpreted as an iteration of quantifiers or as absorption.\ud The first option leads to a scopal relation, interpreted as double negation.\ud The second option leads to the construction of a polyadic negative quantifier,\ud which corresponds to the concord reading. Given that negation participates\ud in negative concord, we develop an extension of the polyadic approach which\ud can deal with non-variable binding operators. The contribution of negation\ud in a concord context is semantically empty, which is taken to explain the\ud cross-linguistic variation we find in the participation of negation in negative\ud concord. The semantic analysis is incorporated into a grammatical analysis\ud formulated in HPSG, which crucially relies on the assumption that quantifiers\ud can be combined in more than one way upon retrieval from the quantifier\ud store

Topics: Wijsbegeerte
Year: 2000
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