Negativity without negation


  • Lisa Hofmann



This paper addresses the anaphoric polarity sensitivity of negativity-tags, challenging the idea that they are only licensed by sentential negation (e.g., Klima 1964; Kramer and Rawlins 2009; Farkas and Bruce 2010; Brasoveanu et al. 2013, 2014; Roelofsen and Farkas 2015), arguing instead that they are sensitive to counterfactual propositional content in discourse. This is supported by data showing that negativity-tags are licensed without overt negation and their acceptability is influenced by contextual factors. The emerging notion of discourse-polarity has theoretical implications: The discourse-effect of negation is tied to its anti-veridical semantics, and characterizing negative antecedents requires a discourse-level representation that integrates information from both semantic representations and pragmatic inferences.




How to Cite

Hofmann, L. (2023). Negativity without negation. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 27, 309–327.