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On the processing of alternatives, exhaustification and covert negation: the case of "mai"

Romoli, Jacopo (2011) On the processing of alternatives, exhaustification and covert negation: the case of "mai". In: Alternatives in semantics. (Eds: Falaus, Anamaria), Palgrave, pp. 209-237. ISBN 978-1-137-31724-7 [Book section]

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Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the linguistic behavior and on-line processing of the Italian word mai.1 We are interested in mai as it exhibits typical properties of Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) on the one hand and of Negative-words (N-words) on the other. mai exhibits sensitivity to the entailment patterns associated with the sentence in which it occurs, a feature that characterizes NPIs in general. Moreover, mai gives rise to different meanings depending on its position with respect to the verb, a characteristic of N-words. In this paper, we propose an alternative-based analysis of mai as an NPI with the additional capacity of introducing a covert negation in certain environments in pre-verbal position. The main goal of this project is to investigate, through the case study of mai, the on-line processing of the theoretical mechanisms that we argue are involved in its semantics, such as alternatives, exhaustification and insertion of covert negation.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:alternatives, semantics, pragmatics
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:35918
Deposited By: Dr Jacopo Romoli
Deposited On:20 Sep 2016 08:26
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:25

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