, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 297-315,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 29 Nov 2008

Towards a uniform analysis of any

Abstract

In this paper, Universal any and Negative Polarity Item any are uniformly analyzed as ‘counterfactual’ donkey sentences (in disguise). Their difference in meaning is reduced here to the distinction between strong and weak readings of donkey sentences. It is shown that this explains the universal and existential character of Universal- and NPI-any, respectively, and the positive and negative contexts in which they are licensed. Our uniform analysis extends to the use of any in command and permission sentences. It predicts that whereas the use of any in permission sentences is licensed and gives rise to a universal reading, it is not licensed in command sentences.