Classical NEG Raising: An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

Classical NEG Raising: An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

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Overview

An extended argument for a syntactic view of NEG raising with consequences for the syntax of negation and negative polarity items.

In this book, Chris Collins and Paul Postal consider examples such the one below on the interpretation where Nancy thinks that this course is not interesting:
Nancy doesn't think this course is interesting .

They argue such examples instantiate a kind of syntactic raising that they term Classical NEG Raising. This involves the raising of a NEG (negation) from the embedded clause to the matrix clause. Collins and Postal develop three main arguments to support their claim. First, they show that Classical NEG Raising obeys island constraints. Second, they document that a syntactic raising analysis predicts both the grammaticality and particular properties of what they term Horn clauses (named for Laurence Horn, who discovered them). Finally, they argue that the properties of certain parenthetical structures strongly support the syntactic character of Classical NEG Raising.

Collins and Postal also offer a detailed analysis of the main argument in the literature against a syntactic raising analysis (which they call the Composed Quantifier Argument). They show that the facts appealed to in this argument not only fail to conflict with their approach but actually support a syntactic view. In the course of their argument, Collins and Postal touch on a variety of related topics, including the syntax of negative polarity items, the status of sequential negation, and the scope of negative quantifiers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262027311
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 05/16/2014
Series: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs , #67
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Chris Collins is Professor of Linguistics at New York University.

Paul M. Postal is the author of many books, including On Raising and Edge-Based Clausal Syntax (both published by the MIT Press).

Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii

Foreword "Classical NEG Raising: The First 900 Years" Laurence R. Horn ix

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

I Background 1

1 Introduction 3

2 The Syntactic Representation of Scope 13

3 NEG Raising 17

4 Reversals 29

5 NEG Raising from Scope Positions 45

6 Polyadic Quantification 49

7 NEG Deletion: Case Studies 59

8 Elements of a General Conception of NEG Deletion 69

9 Confounding Cases: Strict NPIs and Scope 79

10 Strict NPIs and Locality 93

II Arguments 101

11 Islands: Preliminaries 103

12 Islands: Survey 111

13 Horn Clauses: Preliminaries 125

14 Horn Clauses: Negative Inversion 133

15 Topicalization 157

16 The Composed Quantifier Argument 163

17 Parentheticals 191

18 Never Raising 205

19 Nonfinite Clauses 211

20 Conclusion 217

Notes 221

References 249

Name Index 259

Subject Index 263

What People are Saying About This

Andrew Radford

This is a superb monograph by two world-renowned linguists who have been at the forefront of innovation in syntax for decades. It brings a wealth of novel and insightful observations to bear in support of the existence of NEG Raising as a syntactic phenomenon, and thereby makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the relation between syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Endorsement

This is a superb monograph by two world-renowned linguists who have been at the forefront of innovation in syntax for decades. It brings a wealth of novel and insightful observations to bear in support of the existence of NEG Raising as a syntactic phenomenon, and thereby makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the relation between syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Andrew Radford, Emeritus Professor, University of Essex

From the Publisher

This monograph is the sharpest, most thorough introduction to NEG Raising. Whether or not it succeeds in defending NEG Raising, it uncovers intriguing novel data and generalizations, providing the readers with everything they need to draw their own conclusions. The data illustrating 'Horn clauses' and 'quasi-Horn clauses' are fascinating.

Ljiljana Progovac , Professor of Linguistics, Wayne State University, Detroit, and author of Negative and Positive Polarity

Collins and Postal present a strong series of arguments in favor of a more syntactic approach to negation and polarity items than is currently in vogue, building mostly on data from complex sentences. NEG Raising is reinstated as an important movement operation and its syntactic nature argued for on the basis of a broad spectrum of island phenomena. Highlights are a new classification of polarity items, a detailed treatment of negative inversion in embedded contexts (Horn clauses), and a wealth of new observations regarding the complex interaction of polarity licensing and syntactic structure. Essential reading for anyone interested in this fascinating area of linguistics.

Jack Hoeksema , University of Groningen

This is a superb monograph by two world-renowned linguists who have been at the forefront of innovation in syntax for decades. It brings a wealth of novel and insightful observations to bear in support of the existence of NEG Raising as a syntactic phenomenon, and thereby makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the relation between syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

Andrew Radford , Emeritus Professor, University of Essex

Jack Hoeksema

Collins and Postal present a strong series of arguments in favor of a more syntactic approach to negation and polarity items than is currently in vogue, building mostly on data from complex sentences. NEG Raising is reinstated as an important movement operation and its syntactic nature argued for on the basis of a broad spectrum of island phenomena. Highlights are a new classification of polarity items, a detailed treatment of negative inversion in embedded contexts (Horn clauses), and a wealth of new observations regarding the complex interaction of polarity licensing and syntactic structure. Essential reading for anyone interested in this fascinating area of linguistics.

Ljiljana Progovac

This monograph is the sharpest, most thorough introduction to NEG Raising. Whether or not it succeeds in defending NEG Raising, it uncovers intriguing novel data and generalizations, providing the readers with everything they need to draw their own conclusions. The data illustrating 'Horn clauses' and 'quasi-Horn clauses' are fascinating.

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