Double negation in simple sentences in Catalan

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Abstract

In this piece of research we examine a structure that linguistically encodes a double negation reading in simple sentences in Catalan. This structure contains a sentential negative adverb and an indefinite which is the complement of a preposition that functions as an adjunct. We claim that words like res can behave as free choice items or as n-words because they cause domain expansion, both in broad domains (in a non-negative context) and in minimal domains (in negative contexts). Formally, we argue that these words bear a morphosyntactic feature that has to be checked by an operator endowed with a feature of the same kind. When res is in an adjoined prepositional phrase, the structure favours the checking of this feature in its Specifier: [[ Neg - σ ] res[ +σ]]. If, in addition, there is a second Neg operator in the sentence, double negation necessarily obtains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
JournalEstudis Romanics
Volume34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Catalan
  • Double negation
  • N-words
  • Negative concord
  • Simple sentence

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