Neg-Raising and Neg movement

  • Paul Crowley


This paper is about the phenomenon known as Neg-Raising. All previous analyses of Neg-Raising fall into one of two categories: syntactic and semantic/pragmatic. The syntactic approach derives the unexpected interpretation of Neg-Raising expressions from a Neg movement operation in the syntax (Fillmore in Word 19:208–231, 1963) while the semantic/pragmatic approach derives it as an inference attributed to an excluded middle associated with Neg-Raising predicates (Bartsch in Linguistische Berichte 27:1–7, 1973). In this squib, I discuss a collection of novel and known data, which I argue indicate that both a Neg movement operation as well as an excluded middle are necessary to account for the full range of data. I propose that Neg-Raising is an intrinsically semantic/pragmatic phenomenon and that the Neg movement operation is conditioned by the presence of an excluded middle. I offer a generalization that takes a step towards understanding this mysterious dependency.


Negation Neg-Raising NPIs Ellipsis 


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I’m very grateful to Irene Heim, Sabine Iatridou, Norvin Richards, Roger Schwarzchild, Kai von Fintel, and especially Danny Fox for help on this project. I’m also grateful to the reviewer for comments which improved the paper, and to the audiences at MIT where this work was presented.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Philosophy and LinguisticsMITCambridgeUSA

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