Number in NPI Licensing
Luka Crnic
December 2020

The acceptability of any-DPs in existential modal sentences presents a challenge for the theories of NPI licensing: existential modal sentences appear to differ substantially from other environments in which any-DPs are acceptable (in particular, they lack a downward-entailing operator). One approach to this challenge has been to, first, take any-DPs to be subject to an environment-based downward-entailingness condition - they have to occur in an environment that is Strawson downward-entailing with respect to their domain (cf. Kadmon & Landman 1993) - and, second, to derive such an environment in existential modal sentences by means of exhaustification (e.g., Fox 2007). This note presents new evidence for such a two-layered approach (cf. Crnič 2017, 2019). The evidence comes from a striking contrast in the behavior of singular vs. plural any-DPs in existential modal sentences. The paper concludes by charting some relations between any-DPs and other polarity items.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004954
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: negative polarity items, exhaustification, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [January 2020]
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