Expletive Negation in Exclamatives - Evidence from Hungarian
Tamás Halm, Anna Huszár
October 2021

This paper examines expletive negation in root clauses (surprise negation sentences and wh-exclamatives) in Hungarian. We argue that Hungarian has three distinct negation positions, each corresponding to a truth-reversal operation on a different level. When the negator nem ’no’ is merged in the CP layer (in the head position of the Speaker Deixis Phrase), this yields surprise negation sentences, corresponding to negation at the level of presuppositions (expletive negation). The negator being merged as the head of NegP within the extended TP yields standard negation (at the propositional level). In wh-exclamatives, the negator is head-adjoined to T0, which results in negation at the level of implicatures (expletive negation). In addition to pointing out this mapping between syntactic position and semantic-pragmatic interpretation, we also argue that the data from Hungarian present a strong case against a raising analysis of expletive negation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005584
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: under review
keywords: expletive negation, exclamatives, surprise negation, hungarian, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v1 [November 2020]
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