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Even-NPIs in questions
Elena Guerzoni, 2002, published scientific conference contribution

Keywords: minimizers, negative polarity, constituent questions
Published in RUNG: 21.02.2024; Views: 465; Downloads: 1
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Double negatives, Negative Concord and metalinguistic negation
Luis Alonso Ovalle, Elena Guerzoni, 2002, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Spanish nadie, nada…) do not find a unified account in any of the existing analyses of Negative Concord (NC): (i) their uses in the special context of denials and (ii) their incompatibility with factive environments. We suggest that the unifying property of these two apparently unrelated phenomena is the common sensitivity of these two environments (denials and factives) to non-truthconditional aspects of meaning. Thereof we take these properties to reveal that the meaning of n-words involves a nontruthconditional component. Specifically, we explore the hypothesis that n-words are existential quantifiers at the truth-conditional level but that they contribute negative existentials at the level of their conventional implicatures. This hypothesis explains the special uses of n-words in denials and their incompatibility with factive environments. The fact that they are restricted to the scope of negation (or more precisely averidical expressions 1 (Giannakidou’s 1997,2000)) in non-sentence-initial position follows as a consequence of the relation between their implicature and their semantic contribution to the truth conditions of the sentences they appear in. Under certain common additional stipulations, this view can be extended to preverbal occurrences as well.
Keywords: negative concord, Italian, Spanish
Published in RUNG: 21.02.2024; Views: 420; Downloads: 0
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Even and minimizer NPIs in wh-questions
Elena Guerzoni, 2003, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: This work follows up on a previous paper of mine on y/n questions with ‘minimizer’ Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) like lift a finger, bat an eyelash, budge (an inch) (i.e. Guerzoni 2002) and brings into the picture the case of wh-questions. In the interest of space, the summary I provide of that paper is very brief; for a fuller understanding the reader should refer to the paper itself.
Keywords: minimizers, negative polarity, constituent questions
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 441; Downloads: 0
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Even-NPIs in yes/no questions
Elena Guerzoni, 2004, original scientific article

Abstract: It has been a long-standing puzzle that Negative Polarity Items appear to split into two subvarieties when their effect on the interpretation of questions is taken into account: while questions with any and ever can be used as unbiased requests of information, questions with so-called `minimizers', i.e. idioms like lift a finger and the faintest idea, are always biased towards a negative answer (cf. Ladusaw 1979). Focusing on yes/no questions, this paper presents a solution to this puzzle. Specifically it is shown that in virtue of containing even (cf. Heim 1984), minimizers, unlike any, trigger a presupposition, which reduces the set of the possible answers to a question to the singleton containing the negative answer.
Keywords: NPIs, minimizers, polar questions, presupposition, negative bias
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 465; Downloads: 2
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On Karttunen’s "The syntax and semantics of questions"
Elena Guerzoni, 2022, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: Karttunen’s article on the syntax and semantics of questions is a milestone in the truth-conditional compositional semantics of interrogatives and of verbs that embed them. It is the first comprehensive study of the mapping between the syntax and the interpretation of the three different types of questions (polar, constituent and alternative questions) and presents the first semantic analysis of question-embedding verbs (QEVs henceforth) that assumes the same intensions for matrix and embedded interrogatives. This analysis continues to vastly inspire the ongoing research on the properties of questions and QEVs. This chapter illustrates Karttunen’s theory focusing on those formal details that have been the most influential in subsequent literature. In doing so, however, I will take the liberty to suggest a less than literal rendition of these details, in an attempt to make the discussion more accessible to today’s reader. The main departure that I make here from Karttunen’s 1977 is in the formal framework. Whereas Karttunen adopts Montague’s PTQ, here I will expose his ideas in Heim and Kratzer‘s type driven semantics.
Keywords: interrogatives, questions, syntax-semantics interface, compositionality, wh-movement
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 417; Downloads: 4
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Weak exhaustivity and "whether" : a pragmatic approach
Elena Guerzoni, 2007, published scientific conference contribution

Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 384; Downloads: 2
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"Whether or not anything" but not "whether anything or not" : Elektronski vir
Elena Guerzoni, Yael Sharvit, 2014, independent scientific component part or a chapter in a monograph

Abstract: Recent studies on interrogatives indicate that some question embedding predicates (QEPs) cannot support strongly exhaustive inferences, contra Groenendijk and Stokhof (1982) (c.f. Berman 1991, Heim 1994, Sharvit 2002). Some verbs that support strongly exhaustive inferences are know, find out, and wonder. Among the predicates that can only support weakly exhaustive inferences we find verbs like surprise, disappoint,realize, and predict n% correctly.Previous views on this problem encode the above distinction either in different lexical semantic properties (see Beck and Rullmann 1999 and Sharvit 2002) or in different selectional restrictions of different QEPs (see Guerzoni 2003), but provide no independent motivation for either. This paper proposes a pragmatic account that improves on the existing proposals in two respects. On the one hand, it provides the independent motivation for the classification of different QEPs, which was missing from earlier approaches. On the other hand, it offers an understanding of a seemingly unrelated long lasting puzzle; that is the impossibility for predicates like surprise, disappoint, realize, anticipate embed whether-complements (c.f. Karttunen 1977, Lahiri 1991, Guerzoni 2003, Guerzoni & Sharvit 2006). The remainder of this section briefly introduces the notions of weak and strong exhaustivity
Keywords: question embedding, strong exhaustivity
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 384; Downloads: 2
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Intervention effects on NPIs and feature movement : towards a unified account of intervention
Elena Guerzoni, 2006, original scientific article

Abstract: In this paper, I explore the possibility of understanding locality restrictions on the distribution of Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) as a consequence of covert movement. The present proposal restates Linebarger’s Immediate Scope Constraint in terms of morphology-driven checking requirements. These requirements cannot be met if a blocking element intervenes between the NPI feature and its morphosemantic licenser at Logical Form (LF). The empirical generalization is that the class of NPI ‘blocking expressions’ (a.k.a. ‘interveners’) overlaps to a large extent with interveners identified in wh-questions. Therefore, the same grammatical checking mechanisms operating in that domain, rather than the presence of an implicature, are here shown to be responsible both for apparent violations to Linebarger’s constraint (contra Linebarger) and for intervention effects (contra Krifka, 1995, and Chierchia, 2004). This approach is argued to be superior on empirical grounds as it predicts facts that are left unaccounted for in a theory like Linebarger’s, where pragmatics rescues otherwise ill-formed structures. In addition, the proposal allows us to view the locality constraints operating in the domain of NPI-licensing as an instance of more general (though yet to be fully understood) principles of the grammar whose effects are attested in other domains, such as wh-questions in German, Discourselinked (D-linked) wh-questions in English, and Negative Concord (NC) configurations (e.g. in Italian and French).
Keywords: negative polarity items, intervention effects, feature movement, indefinit, disjunctio
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 446; Downloads: 2
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A question of strength : on NPIs in interrogative clauses
Elena Guerzoni, Yael Sharvit, 2007, original scientific article

Abstract: We observe that the facts pertaining to the acceptability of negative polarity items (henceforth, NPIs) in interrogative environments complex than previously noted. Since Klima [Klima, E. (1964). In J. Fodor & J. Katz (Eds.), The structure of language. Prentice-Hall], it has been typically assumed that NPIs are grammatical in both matrix and embedded questions, however, on closer scrutiny it turns out that there are differences between root and embedded environments, and between question nucleus and wh-restrictor. While NPIs are always licensed in the nucleus of root questions, their acceptability in the restrictor of wh-phrases and in the nucleus of any embedded question depends on the logical properties of the linguistic environment: its strength in terms of exhaustivity [Groenendijk, J., & Stokhof, M. (1984). Studies on the semantics of questions and the pragmatic answers. Amserdam (NL), Post-Doctoral Dissertation. Heim, I. (1994). In R. Buchalla & A. Mittwoch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th annual IATL conference and of the 1993 IATL workshop on discourse (pp. 128–144). Akademon, Jerusalem. Beck, S., & 16 Rullmann, H. (1999). Natural Language Semantics, 7, 249–298. Sharvit, Y (2002). Natural Language Semantics, 10, 97–123] and its monotonicity properties (in the sense of von Fintel [von Fintel, K. (1999). Journal of 19 Semantics, 16, 97-148]).
Keywords: negative polarity items, interrogative clauses
Published in RUNG: 20.02.2024; Views: 490; Downloads: 2
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