Licensing of PPI indefinites: Movement or pseudoscope?

Natural Language Semantics 27 (4):279-321 (2019)
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Positive Polarity indefinites, such as some in English, are licensed in simplex negative sentences as long as they take wide scope over negation. When it surfaces under a clausemate negation, some can in principle take wide scope either by movement or by some semantic mechanism; e.g., it can take pseudoscope if it is interpreted as a choice function variable. Therefore, there is some uncertainty regarding the way in which PPI indefinites get licensed: can pseudoscope suffice? In this article we show, using novel data from Hindi-Urdu and English, that pseudoscope is not sufficient, and that it is the syntactic position of PPI indefinites at LF, rather than their actual scope, which is relevant for licensing. These facts support a unified view of PPI indefinites as generalized quantifiers, and disfavor analyses where they are, or can be, interpreted as choice function variables.



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Domains of Polarity Items.Vincent Homer - 2021 - Journal of Semantics 38 (1):1-48.

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References found in this work

The proper treatment of quantification in ordinary English.Richard Montague - 1973 - In Patrick Suppes, Julius Moravcsik & Jaakko Hintikka (eds.), Approaches to Natural Language. Dordrecht. pp. 221--242.
The Grammar of Quantification.Robert May - 1977 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Quantification.Anna Szabolcsi - 2010 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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