Chapter published in:Crossroads Semantics: Computation, experiment and grammar
Edited by Hilke Reckman, Lisa Lai-Shen Cheng, Maarten Hijzelendoorn and Rint Sybesma
[Not in series 210] 2017
► pp. 93–106
Polarity licensing and intervention by conjunction
The licensing of polarity items by negation and other operators may be disrupted by an intervening conjunction. Conjunction intervenes when the polarity item is a conjunct or part of a conjunct, and negation or another licensor is outside the conjunction, having scope over it. Intervention effects on the licensing of polarity items have been studied at least since Linebarger (1980), but not much empirical research has been done on the peculiar problems posed by intervention by conjunction. In this paper, I present evidence from corpus data (from English, Dutch and German) that the intervention effect noted in the literature is not always absolute and sometimes even nonexistent. Asymmetric types of conjunction are an important exception, and for a variety of polarity items even regular conjunction does not lead to any disruption of licensing.
Keywords: Polarity, negation, intervention, conjunction
Published online: 12 April 2017
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