Simple even hypothesis: NPIs and differences in question bias


  • David Krassnig


The even-based approach to NPI licensing arose as a competitor to the traditional idea that NPIs are licensed by some monotone environments. The approach itself equates NPIs with even + existential quantification. As such, distributional differences between NPIs and the expression even ONE are undesirable. There are, however, a small number of known differences: (i) They behave differently in the restrictor of a universal quantifier, and (ii) questions containing even ONE are negatively biased, whereas questions with an NPI are not. Under our proposal, we decompose weak EVEN into two focus particles. One is identical to the original EVEN, whereas the other particle has a directly opposite scalar presupposition and an additional presupposition of exclusivity. In doing so, we can derive both problematic cases for the even-based approach in a straightforward fashion.


How to Cite

Krassnig, D. (2019). Simple even hypothesis: NPIs and differences in question bias. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 21(2), 695–712. Retrieved from