A new approach to Negative Concord: Catalan as a case in point

Susagna Tubau*, Urtzi Etxeberria, Maria Teresa Espinal Farre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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In this paper, we revisit the phenomenon of Negative Concord focusing on the Strict vs. Non-Strict divide. With Catalan as a case in point, we show that Negative Concord Items (NCIs) are not negative quantifiers (NQs) or polarity items (PIs) but inherently negative indefinites by virtue of carrying a negative feature [neg] that contributes a negative semantics to the proposition and is subject to a syntax–phonology constraint that forces it to overtly c-command Tense in compliance with Jespersen’s NegFirst principle. We argue that to satisfy such constraint, [neg] can disembody from the NCI via overt Move F(eature) to adjoin at a pre-Infl(ection) position and be Spelled-Out homophonous to the negative marker. The Strict vs. Non-Strict contrast follows from whether [neg] always moves independently from the rest of the NCI via Move F (Strict Negative Concord) or predates, whenever possible, on another movement of the NCI that places [neg] in the required pre-Infl position (Non-Strict Negative Concord) thus not having to disembody.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Linguistics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2023


  • Catalan
  • Move F
  • Negative Concord
  • Strict and Non-Strict Negative Concord
  • disembodied feature


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