What Counts: Focus and Quantification (Linguistic Inquiry by Elena Herburger

By Elena Herburger

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By Elena Herburger

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Extra info for What Counts: Focus and Quantification (Linguistic Inquiry Monographs, 36)

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Yo habõÂa estado en CoÂrdaba nunca. I had been to CoÂrdaba n-ever (18) a. ). , Laka 1990). 6 What is important is that the standard paradigm is in fact incomplete: under some conditions it is possible to ®nd postverbal n-words that are not c-commanded by any negative element. As discussed in Zanuttini 1991 and Herburger 1998, this is possible when the n-word is interpreted as a negative quanti®er that takes narrow scope with respect to the event described by the verb. Consider for instance (19).

And, as the second sentence makes clear, this is so because Sascha did no sight-seeing at all. '' Focus in (43) does have an e¨ectÐas usual, it structures the event description, as a result of which the sentence is taken to be about Sascha's sight-seeing. Because of the wide scope of not, however, the event quanti®er does not have existential import. This means that not in (43) functions in the same way as the wide scope decreasing quanti®er does in the example Nobody likes Bill; by taking wide scope, it undermines any backgrounded focal entailment.

That there is a di¨erence between (7) and (16) is expected under the present analysis. Since the backgrounded entailments that replace the focal presuppositions derive directly from the existential import of the restricted event quanti®er, their distribution is sensitive to the scope that operator takes. As a result, when the event quanti®er occurs within the scope of a decreasing element, no backgrounded entailment will be avail- Negated and Nonnegated Sentences 23 able; but when the event quanti®er takes wide scope over a decreasing element, one will be.

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