Negation and negative concord in romance

Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (4):373-417 (2002)
Abstract
This paper addresses the two interpretations that a combination ofnegative indefinites can get in concord languages like French:a concord reading, which amounts to a single negation, and a doublenegation reading. We develop an analysis within a polyadic framework,where a sequence of negative indefinites can be interpreted as aniteration of quantifiers or via resumption. The first option leadsto a scopal relation, interpreted as double negation. The secondoption leads to the construction of a polyadic negative quantifiercorresponding to the concord reading. Given that sentential negationparticipates in negative concord, we develop an extension of thepolyadic approach which can deal with non-variable binding operators,treating the contribution of negation in a concord context assemantically empty. Our semantic analysis, incorporated into agrammatical analysis formulated in HPSG, crucially relies on theassumption that quantifiers can be combined in more than one wayupon retrieval from the quantifier store. We also considercross-linguistic variation regarding the participation ofsentential negation in negative concord.
Keywords Negation  concord  polarity  quantification  HPSG  French  syntax-semantics interface
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