Exclamative Wh-Phrases as Positive Polarity Items
AbstractThis paper studies the island effects induced by negation in exclamative sentences. In order to explain this phenomenon, I focus on the interaction between exclamative wh-phrases and negation, showing that negation can appear in exclamative sentences when the wh-phrase is not within the scope of negation; when the negative operator has wide scope, the sentence is ungrammatical. Assuming Szabolcsi and Zwarts’s (1997) account of negative islands, I argue that the wh-phrase can have wide scope only when its domain is an unordered set, and not when it ranges over ordered sets. I argue that the inverse scope relation, where the wh-phrase is within the scope of negation, is always rejected, since wh-phrases are positive polarity items. I show that they are sensitive to downward-entailing contexts and propose that this is due to the fact that they widen a domain of quantification without strengthening the statement, in line with Kadmon and Landman’s (1993) and Chierchia’s (2004) analyses of negative polarity.
Keywordsexclamative sentences, positive polarity, degree quantification, negative islands
Copyright (c) 2008 Raquel González Rodríguez
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.