By Johan Brandtler
Even if the sphere of polarity is easily researched, this monograph deals a brand new tackle polarity sensitivity that either demanding situations and accommodates prior theories. established totally on Swedish information, it provides new recommendations to long-standing difficulties, akin to the non-complementary distribution of NPIs and PPIs in yes/no-questions and conditionals, lengthy distance licensing by way of superordinate parts, and the prevalence of polarity goods in wh-questions. it truly is argued that polarity sensitivity could be understood when it comes to evaluability. missing any quick predecessor within the literature, evaluability refers back to the chance of accepting or rejecting an utterance as real in a communicative trade. Intriguingly, the evaluable prestige of a clause is proven to have syntactic correlates in Swedish, reflected within the configuration of the C-domain. This e-book is of curiosity to students learning the interaction among syntax, semantics and pragmatics, fairly these engaged on negation and polarity.
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Extra info for The Evaluability Hypothesis: The syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of polarity item licensing
Our configuration (i). 2 (127-208) The Evaluability Hypothesis – – – Declarative main clauses Embedded V2-clauses Wh-questions It should be pointed out that these labels are used for reference purposes only; I will not discuss the semantic differences between these sentence types in this chapter. As is illustrated in this section, the distribution of polarity items is seemingly unrelated to these differences, since the sentence types above allow only overtly licensed polarity items. 1 Hence, we find that affirmative main clauses such as (35b) cannot host NPIs.
2 above, embedded V2-clauses are structurally identical to main V2-clauses in displaying verb movement to [C0 ] and XP fronting to [Spec,CP]. Similarly to main clauses, embedded V2-clauses do not allow NPIs in the absence of a clausemate operator, as shown in (41). (41) a. Han sa att numera har folk inte ens TV. ’ b. *Han sa att numera har folk ens TV. m. mobil. ’ This distributional pattern is neither novel nor particularly interesting. e. licensing by an affective operator at superordinate clause level.
Sven has something seen (39) a. Sven har ingenting sett. Sven has nothing seen ‘Sven has seen nothing’ ?? b. Sven har sett ingenting. Sven has seen nothing ‘Sven has seen nothing’ 2. There are a few systematic exceptions to this rule, primarily with regards to alls ‘at all’ and ens ‘negatively even’. These elements are often found to the left of the negative element: (i) Det är besynnerligt men alls inte underligt. ’ (ii) Du var ju ens inte på omslaget! ’ With regards to alls, its prototypical placement was actually to the left of the negative element in Older Swedish (see SAOB 1898: 1:1067).
The Evaluability Hypothesis: The syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of polarity item licensing by Johan Brandtler