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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop: Negation and Polarity: Interfaces and Cognition

Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Start Date: 22-Jul-2013 - 27-Jul-2013
Contact: Pierre Larrivee Chungmin Lee
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: As a feature of all human grammars, negation and related phenomena such as focus and polarity have been the object of considerable scrutiny in contemporary linguistics, and considerable insights have been achieved since the first edition of Larry Horn’s ‘A Natural History of Negation’ in 1989. There is a good level of understanding of the morphology and syntax of negation, its historical development, and its pragmatics, in a wide variety of languages. However, a number of issues remain unresolved, especially with regards to the contribution of interfaces to the interpretation of negation. The positional factors that intervene in the semantic licensing of polarity items (English ‘*Anyone didn’t come’, compared to the felicitous Korean ‘Amwu-to an-wassta’) and the interference from pragmatic factors (noted early on by Linebarger), are still awaiting proper characterisation. Similar characterisation is needed for the interpretation of negation itself in its exclamative (‘Not him again!’), interrogative (‘Isn’t it him already?’) and expletive uses, and while multiple models exist of negative concord and double negation, their relation to prosody and information structure remains to be fully spelled out. Agreed definition and diagnostics of metalinguistic, polemic and descriptive values are still awaited. Debates are to be apportioned as to the precise triggers of how negative value is acquired by indefinites and minimizers, and the existence of cognitive constraints on historical pathways of change.
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; General Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
LL Issue: 23.1707

This is a session of the following meeting:
19th International Congress of Linguists

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