Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 373–417 | Cite as

Negation And Negative Concord In Romance

  • Henriëtte De Swart
  • Ivan A. Sag


This paper addresses the two interpretations that a combination ofnegative indefinites can get in concord languages like French:a concord reading, which amounts to a single negation, and a doublenegation reading. We develop an analysis within a polyadic framework,where a sequence of negative indefinites can be interpreted as aniteration of quantifiers or via resumption. The first option leadsto a scopal relation, interpreted as double negation. The secondoption leads to the construction of a polyadic negative quantifiercorresponding to the concord reading. Given that sentential negationparticipates in negative concord, we develop an extension of thepolyadic approach which can deal with non-variable binding operators,treating the contribution of negation in a concord context assemantically empty. Our semantic analysis, incorporated into agrammatical analysis formulated in HPSG, crucially relies on theassumption that quantifiers can be combined in more than one wayupon retrieval from the quantifier store. We also considercross-linguistic variation regarding the participation ofsentential negation in negative concord.

Negation concord polarity quantification HPSG French syntax-semantics interface 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henriëtte De Swart
    • 1
  • Ivan A. Sag
    • 2
  1. 1.Uil-OTS & FrenchUtrecht UniversityNetherlands
  2. 2.Linguistics & CSLIStanford UniversityUSA

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