NPI Licensing in Jordanian Arabic: An Argument for Downward Entailment and Syntax-Semantics Interface
Eman Alkhalaf
January 2018

Recent work shows that downward entailment (DE) cannot be the right semantic domain that licenses negative polarity items (NPIs). Zwarts (1995), Giannakidou (1998), among others argue that NPIs are licensed in non-veridical domains, those that do not entail or presuppose the truth of the propositions they embed. In this paper, based on empirical facts, I argue the DE theory is the right analysis for Jordanian Arabic. I propose an analysis of NPI licensing in which three components of grammar interface: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Semantics defines the class of NPI licensors, pragmatics forces quantificational closure of NPIs, and syntax executes the licensing via AGREE between a phasal head and the NPI. The analysis contributes to the debate on what components of grammar are responsible for NPI licensing and provides a new perspective on the interface between different components of grammar.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003748
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Topics in Linguistics
keywords: negative polarity, free choice, syntax-semantics interface, downward entailment, arabic, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [November 2017]
Downloaded:266 times


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