From negative cleft to external negator: Eastern Aramaic lāw and Sicilian (Mussomeli) neca
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal, Karen De Clercq
August 2018

The general aim of this paper is to describe how an external negator (in the form of a negative particle) emerges from a negative cleft. This development can be observed for two negators in two unrelated languages: for lāw in the Late Eastern Aramaic dialect, Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (=JBA), among the Semitic languages and for the Sicilian (Mussomeli) negator neca, among the Romance languages (discussed by Cruchina 2010, Garzonio and Poletto 2015). We show that the new negator retains the semantics of external negation, typically associated with negative clefts. Based on its incompatibility with wh-questions (Haegeman 2000) and capturing its presuppositional nature, we analyze the new negators as base-generated in a left peripheral FocP, a position traditionally associated with wh-constituents and fronted negative constituents.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003796
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: negation, external negation, cleft, eastern aramaic, sicilian, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [December 2017]
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