Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: The Fine Structure of Polarity Sensitivity
Written By: Lucia M. Tovena

This study investigates the phenomenon of polarity sensitivity, proposing a new perspective which focuses on the behavior and properties of sensitive items and the phrases they form. It rests on the observation that the complexity of the phenomenon requires a more articulated analysis than the standard one based on licensing conditions. The study adopts a broader notion of sensitivity, which extends beyond the traditional one restricted to polarity. It includes other factors which are defined in relation to the semantics of the sensitive items. As a result, the attention is centered on the web of interactions the item entertains with its context of occurrence, rather than on polarity licensing conditions. These items are not lexical black boxes, mutually undistinguishable with respect to polarity licensing. The study shows that the distribution and interpretation of these items follow from constraints related to the properties of their semantic domain. Aspect and temporal order are crucial factors for sensitive temporal connectives and adverbials, while referential links and existential import matter for determiners. Analogies and differences with other phenomena related to negation, e.g. negative concord, are discussed. The volume also contains an extensive critical overview of research on the topic in the past thirty years. This book will be of interest to scholars in the area of semantics, syntax and their interface. It also points to various important themes in pragmatics and cognitive science, e.g. the role of context and reference, and the notion of interpretation strategies.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: Garland Publishers
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0815331339
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: $71