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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is concerned with the linguistic environments in which double negation readings do and do not arise in double negation and negative concord languages. The theoretical background comes from other chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Negation. The chapter briefly surveys the experimental literature on the role of prosody in the comprehension of negative concord and double negation, and continues with a multilingual corpus investigation that focuses on language use. Under the assumption that all languages convey the same message in a specific context, production data in parallel corpora enable us to detect grammatical variation through translation. The examples are extracted from the parallel corpus EuroParl and the languages discussed are English, Dutch, German, Italian, French, and Spanish. Even though the set of languages is relatively small, the spread of grammars should be wide enough to shed light on the phenomenon of double negation in natural language.

Keywords: double negation, negative concord, cross-linguistic variation, parallel corpus

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