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Classical NEG RaisingAn Essay on the Syntax of Negation$
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Chris Collins and Paul M. Postal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027311

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027311.001.0001

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Neg Deletion: Case Studies

Neg Deletion: Case Studies

(p.59) 7 Neg Deletion: Case Studies
Classical NEG Raising

Chris Collins

Paul M. Postal

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses several cases from French, German, and English that give plausible initial support for the existence of NEG deletion, which principally rests on the idea that a deleted NEG has no direct morphological realization, and is therefore unpronounced. It first considers the standard French finite clause negation pattern illustrated in the sentence Le ministre ne viendra pas. In such cases, negation is represented by the postverbal form pas, accompanied by the marker ne, glossed as PRT. The chapter then looks at two forms termed “specialized negators,” which occur in sentences with a highly restricted set of verbs, to yield clauses that express negation, even though they manifest no overt form that regularly expresses negation. This is exemplified in the German cases einen Dreck (a dirt) and einen feuchten Kehrricht (a wet dirt). Expressions like einen Dreck fall into the class of minimizers. The chapter also examines complements of an adjectival phrase modified by too, as in Dana is too cynical to lift a finger to help Kyle.

Keywords:   finite clause, NEG deletion, negation, specialized negators, verbs, minimizers, complements, adjectival phrase

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