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A Twofold Classification of Expletive Negation
Matteo Greco
165-175 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Expletive negation (EN) is commonly considered to be a unitary phenomenon cross-linguistically. I will provide empirical arguments to show that in fact EN consists of distinct subtypes and I will propose a twofold partition between weak and strong EN. More specifically, by investigating Italian, I will show that weak EN structures maintain some features typically associated with standard negation (for example, they allow weak-NPIs and n-words) whereas strong EN structures do not, forming a natural class within the EN one. Moreover, I will propose an analysis of a specific case of EN in Italian I dubbed "Surprise Negation Sentences" showing that they are distinct from any other EN clauses and that their proprieties are the result of interaction of independent syntactic principles.

Published in

Proceedings of the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Richard Stockwell, Maura O'Leary, Zhongshi Xu, and Z.L. Zhou
Table of contents
Printed edition: $395.00