On the semantic status of n-words in Catalan and Spanish

M.Teresa Espinal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides some arguments for the claim that Catalan and Spanish n-words are not lexically ambiguous. I put forward the hypothesis that they are intrinsically negative expressions, in the sense that they are indefinites incorporated into a numeral meaning ∥0∥, and they are weak quantifiers, in the sense that they are underspecified for quantificational force. I suggest the relevance of a hierarchy of negative items (negative quantifiers / minimizers, n-words, and polarity items) determined by the position of these items within a scale of quantificational force. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-580
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2000


  • Catalan
  • Negation
  • Semantics
  • Spanish
  • Syntax


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