Natural Language Semantics

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 359–382 | Cite as

On the Interaction of Adjectival Modifiers and Relative Clauses

  • Caroline HeycockEmail author


This paper addresses data concerning the interpretation of adjectives such as first, last and only when they modify the head of a relative clause, as discussed by Bhatt (2002). The “low” readings for these modifiers are shown to be much more restricted in their distribution than is predicted by the reconstruction analysis; if these interpretations are derived by allowing the head NP+modifier to be interpreted in the position of the “gap” in the relative clause this results in considerable overgeneration. A generalization is proposed for the distribution of the available readings, and it is argued that the phenomenon of “Neg-Raising” is implicated in their interpretation.


relative clauses reconstruction superlatives negative polarity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language SciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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