This paper proposes an analysis of the semantics of even that is consistent with the assumptions about the syntax and semantics of negation in Collins and Postal (Classical NEG raising, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2014). First, I review the distribution of negation, showing how negation may modify quantificational expressions where it gives rise to scope freezing effects. Second, I discuss the fact that even-phrases can be modified by negation, as in Not even John is there. On the basis of this fact, I argue that even is a quantifier. Lastly, I show that my data provides new empirical support for the assumption that there are two kinds of even, depending on the role played by focus in the scalar presupposition.
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Collins, C. Not even. Nat Lang Semantics 24, 291–303 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11050-016-9124-5
- Negative polarity items
- Scalar presupposition
- Existential presupposition
- Scope freezing
- NEG raising