Article published in:Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 2009: Selected papers from 'Going Romance' Nice 2009
Edited by Janine Berns, Haike Jacobs and Tobias Scheer
[Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory 3] 2011
► pp. 291–304
Focus and the development of N-words in Spanish
During Spain’s ‘Golden Age’ period, n-words in Spanish, such as nada ‘nothing’, changed from being negative polarity items to negative concord items. During the same period, immediately pre-verbal n-words, which previously had expressed wide-focus for VP constitutes, came to acquire a mildly emphatic interpretation, which survives into the modern language as Quantifier Fronting (Quer 2002) or ‘verum-focus’ fronting (Leonetti & Escandell Vidal 2007, 2009). This development, in which negative polarity items seem to acquire a focus feature in the context of becoming negative concord items, is of particular interest because it provides indirect support for Watanabe’s (2004) account of negative concord, in which a focus feature is crucially implicated.
Published online: 30 November 2011
Cited by 2 other publications
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