Negation, Focus and Alternative Questions


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Abstract
This paper presents the observation that negative non-wh-questions with inverted negation do not have an alternative (alt-)question reading. In English, a simple question like (1) has two possible readings: a yes-no (yn-)question reading, paraphrased in (1a), and an alt-question reading, disambiguated in (1b). Under the yn-question reading, the question can be answered as in (2); under the alt-question reading, acceptable answers are (3).
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