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A Case of Negative Polarity in Romanian

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LII (1-2), p. 195-209
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:Despite the large literature that has been addressing Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) (see Baker (1970), Ladusaw (1980), Linebarger (1980), van der Wouden (1997) a.o.), they still remain an important topic for linguistic research. This is motivated, on the one hand, by the productivity of the phenomenon in natural language, and, on the other hand, to the recent computational developments in linguistics, which look for ways to automatically identify NPIs in large electronic linguistic corpora (see Hoeksema 2002, Sailer and Trawinski 2006). In a negative concord language like Romanian, NPIs are in competition with n-words, the typical concord items usually appearing with sentential negation. This paper proposes an investigation of the conditions under which the NPI vreun appears in Romanian negative contexts. It argues for a distinction between two semantic roles that negation plays – ‘predicate negation’ and ‘denial’ - of which the latter is responsible for licensing vreun.
Language: English

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