Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture

Negative concord in Turkish polar questions

  • Beste Kamali (Universit├Ąt Bielefeld)
Date
Thursday 23 March 2017
Time
Location
Lipsius
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Room
30

Abstract 

Turkish is a strict negative concord (NC) language. That is, it has n-words rather than existential polarity items, which are morphologically negative, and are licensed syntactically rather than semantically. This claim is based on the observation that n-words are licensed under clausemate negation and not in constituent questions or conditionals. I will introduce polar questions to this picture and show that  a well-defined class of polar questions is also an n-word licensing context. I will further show that this class is intimately related to negation in a few other respects, from inducing polarity alternatives to morphosyntactic behavior. The question is how the implicit negation in these "bipolar" polar questions is encoded in the grammar. Do they rely on a syntactic head and consequently engage in syntactic concord, or should we rather re-analyze concord under negation as a special case of semantic licensing?  

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