Some psycholinguistic comments on NPI licensing

  • Heiner Drenhaus
  • Joanna Błaszczak
  • Juliane Sch¨utte


In this paper, we discuss the relevance of c-command and licensing strength for NPI licensing. Furthermore, we review the results of an experiment using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in which we investigated the difference in strength of licensing the German negative polarity item jemals ’ever’. The two licensing contexts under discussion are negation and wh-question. We found a sustained negativity on the Negative polarity item (NPI) in wh-context compared to the context where the NPI appeared in the scope of negation. We discuss our ERP results in the light of some recent theoretical proposals on negative polarity licensing.
How to Cite
Drenhaus, H., Błaszczak, J., & Sch¨utteJ. (2019). Some psycholinguistic comments on NPI licensing. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 11, 180-193.