, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 163-182,
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Date: 11 Sep 2007

Parasitic licensing of negative polarity items

Abstract

This paper proposes a new treatment of parasitically licensed negative polarity items, based on the idea that indefinite negative polarity items may optionally incorporate a negative feature from their licenser, and thus acquire the necessary features to in turn license a negative polarity item. The process of negative incorporation is that of Klima (Negation in English. In J.A. Fodor and J.J. Katz (Eds.), The Structure of Language. Readings in the Philosophy of Language, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, pp. 246–323, 1964), but now viewed as a potentially covert operation and offers an alternative to den Dikken’s (J. Comp. Germ. Linguist., 5:35–66, 2002) seminal account of parasitic licensing. Some advantages of the covert incorporation proposal are sketched, including two applications outside the area of polarity licensing: adverbial modification by approximative adverbs, and emphatic reduplication.