LINGUIST List 15.978

Tue Mar 23 2004

Diss: Syntax: Kumar: 'The syntax of negation...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <takolinguistlist.org>


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  1. rkumar, The syntax of negation and the licensing of negative polarity items...

Message 1: The syntax of negation and the licensing of negative polarity items...

Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 00:46:13 -0500 (EST)
From: rkumar <rkumarmail.utexas.edu>
Subject: The syntax of negation and the licensing of negative polarity items...

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Rajesh Kumar

Dissertation Title: The syntax of negation and the licensing of
negative polarity items in Hindi

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Subject Language: Hindi (code: HND)

Dissertation Director 1: Abbas Benmamoun

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation studies syntax of NPIs and their interaction with
sentential negatives in Hindi. First, it outlines the clause structure
of Hindi and locates the syntactic position of sentential negatives as
well as constituent negatives within that structure. It is argued that
sentential negative in Hindi negation marker heads its own maximal
projection, NegP, which is immediately dominated by TP. Second, in
addition to locating the position of negation markers in the clause
structure, this dissertation outlines the distribution of negative
polarity items (NPIs) in Hindi and the structural constraints on their
licensing by sentential negative. I present evidence to claim that an
NPI in Hindi is licensed overtly in the course of derivation by a
c-commanding negative marker. In fact, the bulk of the evidence
presented in this dissertation argues against previous theoretical
accounts that claim that NPI licensing involves covert syntactic
operations such as LF movement or reconstruction. Finally, with
respect to the classification of NPIs, this dissertation also shows
the existence of two different types of NPIs in Hindi; namely, strong
NPIs and weak NPIs. Strong NPIs require a clause mate c-commanding
negative licensor, whereas weak NPIs are quantifiers and are similar
to free choice 'any' in English that are interpreted as NPIs in the
presence of a c-commanding negative licensor.
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