Sentential Negation and Negative Concord
Sentential Negation and Negative Concord describes and explains a series of phenomena that surface in the study of negation as well the typological correlations between these phenomena.
The study focuses on four issues: (i) the way that sentential negation is expressed syntactically, i.e. what are the syntactic properties of negative markers cross-linguistically; (ii) the occurrence of Negative Concord, i.e. the phenomenon that in many languages multiple morpho-syntactically negative elements yield only one semantic negation; (iii) the question whether imperative forms of verbs are allowed to occur in negative constructions; and
(iv) the interpretation of constructions in which a universal quantifier subject precedes a negative marker: in most languages the negation then outscopes the subject.
Based on the results of Dutch diachronic, Dutch dialectological and crosslinguistic research the author shows that all these phenomena can be described in terms of typological implications. For instance, every language that bans true negative imperatives has at least a negative marker that is a syntactic head; and every language with such a negative head marker is on its turn a Negative Concord language.
The author presents a syntax-semantics interface theory of sentential negation and Negative Concord that correctly predicts these typological implications. One of the general conclusions of this study is that n-words (in Negative Concord languages) should not be thought of as negative quantifiers or negative polarity items, but that they should be considered as semantically non-negative indefinites that are syntactically marked for negation.
This study is of relevance to syntacticians, semanticists and scholars in the syntax-semantics interface, as well as to diachronic linguists, dialectologists and typologists.