Minimizer negative polarity items in non-negative contexts




Minimizer strong NPIs such as ˋˋlift a finger'' are known to be more restricted in their occurrence than weak NPIs like ˋˋever''. Sedivy 1990 points to contexts with a ˋˋnegative side message'' in which ˋˋlift a finger'' can occur but ˋˋever'' cannot. The paper provides a short overview over the relevant contexts and proposes an extension of a representational theory of NPI licensing with the following components: First, an utterance content is introduced that enriches the primary truth-conditional content by conventional implicatures and generalized conversational implicatures. Second, ˋˋever''-type NPIs can be licensed by weak NPI licensors, but only in the primary truth-conditional meaning of an utterance. ˋˋLift-a-finger''-type NPIs can only be licensed in the scope of negation, but the licensing can be checked at the representation of the enriched meaning of an utterance.


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How to Cite

Sailer, Manfred. 2021. Minimizer negative polarity items in non-negative contexts. Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar 348–368. (doi:10.21248/hpsg.2021.19) ( (Accessed May 26, 2024.)