Research on Language and Computation

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 397–423 | Cite as

\(\neg\)(A&B). Gapping, negation and speech act operators

  • Sophie ReppEmail author
Original Paper


The paper shows that in gapping sentences where a negative marker in the first conjunct takes wide scope over the whole coordination, the negation obligatorily operates on the level of the speech act rather than on the level of the proposition. In assertions, this is denial negation, and in questions, outer negation. The negation operating on the level of the speech act is argued to be an instantiation of the degrees of strength that are associated with the sincerity conditions of a speech act, which is a feature that it shares with VERUM focus and certain epistemic adverbs. Syntactically, this negation is situated higher than propositional negation, viz. in the CP of the clause. This suggests that gapping with wide scope negation is fundamentally different from ‘ordinary’ gapping which always involves propositional negation.


Denial Ellipsis Epistemic modality Gapping Negation Outer negation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Deutsche Sprache und LinguistikHumboldt Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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