Edited by Julia Herschensohn
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 318] 2011
► pp. 303–328
This paper contrasts the distribution and interpretation of ‘polarity particles’ in English and Romanian. Polarity particles (yes, no in English, da, nu, ba in Romanian) occur at the left edge of utterances that react to assertions, polar questions and imperatives but cannot be used in ‘out of the blue’ contexts. The paper makes sense of this distribution as well as of the contrasts between the two languages against the background of a context structure proposed in earlier work, which allows us to understand in what sense assertions, polar questions and imperatives form a natural class. Of particular interest here are cases where both yes and no can be used in otherwise identical responses in English as well as the distribution of these particles in reactions to imperatives.
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