N-words and sentential negation: Evidence from polarity particles and VP ellipsis

Adrian Brasoveanu, Donka Farkas, Floris Roelofsen


A prominent treatment of n-words such as nobody and never is as indefinite expressions occurring in the scope of a covert sentential negation operator. This paper presents three experiments using two novel strategies based on polarity particles and VP ellipsis to test the predictions of this treatment of n-words. The first experiment tests a particular prediction of recent accounts of polarity particles with respect to agreeing responses to negative assertions. The other two extend the inquiry to cases involving n-words.


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n-words; negation; polarity particles; VP ellipsis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.6.7

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp