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date: 14 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

With events as dense as time, negation threatens to be trivial, unless ‘not’ is noughtly, an adverb of quantification. So revised, classical puzzles of negation in natural language are revisited, in which deviation from the logical connective, violating Excluded Middle, appears to prompt a special condition or special meaning. The language of events also contains negative event descriptions—After the flood, it not drying out ruined the basement and one could smell it not drying out—and these appear to founder on the logic of the constructions in which they occur and on reference to suspect negative events, events of not drying out. A language for event semantics with ‘not’ as noughtly resolves the puzzles surveyed—within classical logic, without ambiguity or special conditions on the meaning of ‘not’, and without a metaphysics of negative events.

Keywords: negative events, perceptual and causal reports, homogeneity condition, adverbs of quantification, Davidsonian logical form, Excluded Middle

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