Natural Language Semantics 12 (4):319-343 (2004)

Abstract
It has been a long-standing puzzle that Negative Polarity Items appear to split into two subvarieties when their effect on the interpretation of questions is taken into account: while questions with any and ever can be used as unbiased requests of information, questions with so-called `minimizers', i.e. idioms like lift a finger and the faintest idea, are always biased towards a negative answer (cf. Ladusaw 1979). Focusing on yes/no questions, this paper presents a solution to this puzzle. Specifically it is shown that in virtue of containing even (cf. Heim 1984), minimizers, unlike any, trigger a presupposition, which reduces the set of the possible answers to a question to the singleton containing the negative answer
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DOI 10.1007/s11050-004-8739-0
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References found in this work BETA

A Natural History of Negation.Laurence Horn - 1989 - University of Chicago Press.
Syntax and Semantics of Questions.Lauri Karttunen - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1):3--44.
Focus and Negative Polarity in Hindi.Utpal Lahiri - 1998 - Natural Language Semantics 6 (1):57-123.
Focus: 271-297.M. Rooth - 1996 - In Shalom Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell Reference. pp. 271-297.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Universal Density of Measurement.Danny Fox & Martin Hackl - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):537 - 586.
Licensing Strong NPIs.Jon R. Gajewski - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (2):109-148.
A Question of Strength: On NPIs in Interrogative Clauses. [REVIEW]Yael Sharvit - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):361 - 391.

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