Expletive Negation is widespread in human languages. Although many semantic, pragmatic and syntactic hypotheses about it have been advanced, it still remains puzzling. Two questions, particularly, need to be faced: (i) what are the con- texts, mainly syntactic, where negation receives its vacuous interpretation? (ii) Is EN a phenomenon grammatically distinct from standard negation or are they the same one? In this article I will provide empirical and theoretical arguments to show that EN derives from a particular syntactic configuration by investigating a case of Ital- ian EN, i.e. Surprise Negation Sentences. More specifically, I will propose that the Italian negative marker “non” (“not”) has a twofold interpretation encoded in syn- tax: (i) when it is merged in the TP-area during the v*P-phase, it gives the standard negative interpretation reversing the truth-value conditions of a sentence; (ii) when it is merged in the CP domain and the v*P-phase is already closed, it gives the exple- tive interpretation shown in Snegs. From this point of view, the expletive reading of negation is just a reflex of the syntactic context in which negation is introduced.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.