Bangla Negative Polarity Items: A Detailed Study
Diti Bhadra, Bidisha Bhattacharjee, Madhumanti Datta, Yangchen Roy
November 2016

This paper offers a detailed descriptive study of negation and Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) in Bangla/Bengali (Indo-Aryan; India). The interaction of negation and copulas in Bangla as well as two syntactically different forms of negation are discussed. The paper explores various properties of NPIs such as strength/weakness, strictness/non- strictness, and reveals that Bangla makes very fine-grained distinctions in each category, giving rise to several new categories not previously attested in the literature. Some of these newly coined categories include Superstrong NPIs, Superweak NPIs, Superstrict NPIs, and Strict-Non-Strict NPIs. The paper also discusses the presence of a very rare class of NPIs - the Weak Strict NPIs – in Bangla. This work also describes the interaction of Bangla NPIs with focus particles and deontic modals, and tests the Positive Polarity Item (PPI) status of a deontic modal with universal force. Attempts at characterizing the strength of this PPI modal leads to puzzling results whereby it is concluded that this modal PPI is both a strong and a weak PPI.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003199
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Indian Linguistics, Vol. 77 (Nos.1-2), 2016, pages 79-102, ISSN: 0378-0759
keywords: negative polarity items, bengali, bangla, weak npis, strong npis, strict npis, superstrict npis, additive, anti-additive, anti-morphic, downward entailing, semantics
previous versions: v1 [November 2016]
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