Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Neg-raising is “the strong tendency in many languages to attract to the main verb a negative which should logically belong to the dependent nexus [=clause]”: a speaker uttering I don’t believe that p is typically taken to have conveyed ‘I believe that not-p’. Such lower-clause understandings of higher-clause negations are possible across certain predicates (believe, think, want) but not others (realize, regret, deny) in English and other languages. Grammatical theories of Neg-raising posit a movement rule based on evidence from the interaction of higher negation with strict negative polarity items, negative inversion, negative parentheticals, and syntactic islands. Semantic and pragmatic approaches cite the relation of Neg-raising to other processes involving contrary negation in contradictory form, the availability of excluded middle presuppositions (I believe that p v I believe that not-p), the Neg-first conspiracy, and the role of politeness or euphemism in motivating Neg-raising.

Keywords: contrary negation, excluded middle, negative polarity items (NPIs), negative inversion, Neg-first, Neg-raising, negative parentheticals, politeness

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.