Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 931–952 | Cite as

Spotting, collecting and documenting negative polarity items

Article

Abstract

As the nature of negative polarity items (NPIs) and their licensing contexts is still under much debate, a broad empirical basis is an important cornerstone to support further insights in this area of research. The work discussed in this paper is intended as a contribution to realizing this objective. We briefly introduce the phenomenon of NPIs and outline major theories about their licensing and also various licensing contexts before discussing our major topics: Firstly, a corpus-based retrieval method for NPI candidates is described that ranks the candidates according to their distributional dependence on the licensing contexts. Our method extracts single-word candidates and is extended to also capture multi-word candidates. The basic idea for automatically collecting NPI candidates from a large corpus is that an NPI behaves like a kind of collocate to its licensing contexts. Manual inspection and interpretation of the candidate lists identify the actual NPIs. Secondly, an online repository for NPIs and other items that show distributional idiosyncrasies is presented, which offers an empirical database for further (theoretical) research on these items in a sustainable way.

Keywords

Polarity items Corpus-based retrieval Empirical database Documentation XML 

References

  1. Agirre, Eneko, and Philip, Edmonds, eds. 2006. Word sense disambiguation. Algorithms and applications. Dordrecht: Springer. Google Scholar
  2. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2006. Broaden your views: Implicatures of domain widening and the ‘logicality’ of language. Linguistic Inquiry 37: 535–590. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Church, Kenneth Ward, and Patrick Hanks. 1990. Word association, norms, mutual information and lexicography. Computational Linguistics 1: 22–29. Google Scholar
  4. Condoravdi, Cleo. 2010. NPI licensing in temporal clauses. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 28. doi:10.1007/s11049-010-9115-z
  5. de Swart, Henriëtte. 1998. Licensing of negative polarity items under inverse scope. Lingua 105: 175–200. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drenhaus, Heiner, Douglas Saddy, and Stefan Frisch. 2004. Intrusion effects in the processing of negative polarity items. In Pre-proceedings of the international conference on linguistic evidence. Empirical, theoretical, and computational perspectives, eds. Stephan Kepser and Marga Reis, 41–45. Tübingen: Universität Tübingen. Google Scholar
  7. Evert, Stefan. 2005. The statistics of word cooccurrences: Word pairs and collocations. PhD thesis, Universität Stuttgart. Google Scholar
  8. Fauconnier, Gilles. 1975. Pragmatic scales and logical structure. Linguistic Inquiry 6: 335–375. Google Scholar
  9. Giannakidou, Anastasia. 1997. The landscape of polarity items. PhD thesis, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Google Scholar
  10. Giannakidou, Anastasia. 1998. Polarity sensitivity as (non)veridical dependency. Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  11. Hoeksema, Jack. 1983. Negative polarity and the comparative. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 1: 403–434. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoeksema, Jack. 1997. Corpus study of negative polarity items. In IV–V Jornades de corpus linguistics, 1996–1997. http://odur.let.rug.nl/~hoeksema/docs/barcelona.html. Accessed October 2010. Google Scholar
  13. Hoeksema, Jack. 2005. De negatief-polaire uitdrukkingen van het Nederlands. Inleiding en lexicon. Unpublished manuscript, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Google Scholar
  14. Hoeksema, Jack. 2010. Dutch enig: From nonveridicality to downward entailment. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 28. doi:10.1007/s11049-010-9110-4
  15. Hoeksema, Jack, and Hotze Rullmann, 2001. Scalarity and polarity: A study of scalar adverbs as polarity items. In Perspectives on negation and polarity items, eds. Jack Hoeksema, Hotze Rullmann, Víctor Sánchez-Valencia, and Ton van der Wouden, 129–171. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Google Scholar
  16. Kadmon, Nirit, and Fred Landman. 1993. Any. Linguistics and Philosophy 16: 353–422. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Klima, Edward. 1964. Negation in English. In The structure of language, eds. Jerry A. Fodor and Jerrold J. Katz, 246–323. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs. Google Scholar
  18. Krifka, Manfred. 1995. The semantics and pragmatics of weak and strong polarity items. Linguistic Analysis 25: 209–257. Google Scholar
  19. Kürschner, Wilfried. 1983. Studien zur Negation im Deutschen. Tübingen: Gunter Narr. Google Scholar
  20. Ladusaw, William. 1980. Polarity sensitivity as inherent scope relations. New York: Garland Press. Google Scholar
  21. Lichte, Timm, and Jan-Philipp Soehn. 2007. The retrieval and classification of negative polarity items using statistical profiles. In Roots: linguistics in search of its evidential base, eds. Sam Featherston and Wolfgang Sternefeld, 249–266. Google Scholar
  22. Linebarger, Marcia. 1987. Negative polarity and grammatical representation. Linguistics and Philosophy 10: 325–387. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Manning, Christopher D., and Heinrich Schütze. 1999. Foundations of statistical natural language processing. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  24. Moore, David S., and George P. McCabe. 2006. Introduction to the practice of statistics. New York: Freeman. Google Scholar
  25. Rayson, Paul, and Roger Garside. 2000. Comparing corpora using frequency profiling. In Proceedings of the workshop on comparing corpora, ACL, 1–8 October 2000, Hong Kong, 1–6. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Saddy, Douglas, Heiner Drenhaus, and Stefan Frisch. 2004. Processing polarity items: Contrastive licensing costs. Brain and Language 90: 495–502. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sailer, Manfred. 2006. Don’t Believe in underspecified semantics. Neg raising in lexical resource semantics. In Empirical issues in fromal syntax and semantics, eds. Olivier Bonami and Patricia Cabredo Hofherr, 375–403. Google Scholar
  28. Vallduví, Enric. 1994. Polarity items, n-words, and minimizers in Catalan and Spanish. Probus 6: 263–294. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. van der Wouden, Ton. 1992. Beperkingen op het optreden van lexicale elementen. De Nieuwe Taalgids 85: 513–538. Google Scholar
  30. van der Wouden, Ton. 1997. Negative contexts. Collocation, polarity and multiple negation. London and New York: Routledge. Google Scholar
  31. Vasishth, Shravan, Sven Brüssow, Richard L. Lewis, and Heiner Drenhaus. 2006. Processing polarity: How the ungrammatical intrudes on the grammatical. http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/~vasishth/Papers/npi1final.pdf. Accessed October 2010.
  32. von Fintel, Kai. 1999. NPI licensing, Strawson entailment, and context dependency. Journal of Semantics 16: 97–148. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Welte, Werner. 1978. Negationslinguistik. Ansätze zur Beschreibung und Erklärung von Aspekten der Negation im Englischen. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. Google Scholar
  34. Zwarts, Frans. 1995. Nonveridical contexts. Linguistic Analysis 25: 286–312. Google Scholar
  35. Zwarts, Frans. 1996. A hierarchy of negative expressions. In Negation: A notion in focus, ed. Heinrich Wansing, 169–194. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. Google Scholar
  36. Zwarts, Frans. 1998. Three types of polarity. In Plurality and Quantification, eds. Fritz Hamm and Erhard W. Hinrichs, 177–237. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan-Philipp Soehn
    • 1
  • Beata Trawiński
    • 2
  • Timm Lichte
    • 3
  1. 1.RottenburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Slavonic StudiesUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Emmy Noether Project, SFB 441University of TübingenTübingenGermany

Personalised recommendations