On Reading-Dependent Licensing of Strong Negative Polarity Items

  • Manfred Sailer

Abstract

I address two sets of data in which the acceptability of strong negative polarity items (lift a finger, so much as) is reading dependent: (i) Strong NPIs may occur in sentences with a law-like interpretation but not in sentences with an episodic interpretation. (ii) They improve in the restrictor of a proportional determiner even if ungrammatical in the restrictor of a corresponding cardinal determiner. These data are problematic for entailment-based and pragmatic approaches to NPI licensing. I propose an account based on Discourse Representation Theory (DRT). The differences are captured using DRT’s representation of proportional determiners as duplex conditions and by the explicit integration of presuppositions into semantic representations.
Published
2019-07-25
How to Cite
Sailer, M. (2019). On Reading-Dependent Licensing of Strong Negative Polarity Items. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 13(2), 455-468. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2009.v13i2.565