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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses two puzzling phenomena in the domain of negative quantifiers: the so-called nall-problem and the existence of split-scope readings triggered by negative indefinites. The nall-problem concerns the fact that no language in the world lexicalizes negated universal quantifiers (with the meaning ‘not every’) and other negated high-scale elements. Negative Indefinites in languages such as Dutch and German may give rise to so-called split scope readings. Sentences like German Du must keine Krawatte anziehen (‘you must wear no tie’) have a reading where the modal takes scope in between the negation and the indefinite. That suggests that prima facie negative indefinites are not negative quantifiers in a straightforward sense. This chapter briefly discusses and evaluates the main analyses that have been put forward to account for these puzzles.

Keywords: Negation, negative quantifiers, negative indefinites, the nall-problem, split-scope readings

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