Negation in Syntax: On the Nature of Functional Categories and Projections

M. I. Laka Mugarza, 1990

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The central concern of this work is the syntactic nature of negation in Universal Grammar, and its relation to other functional elements in the Syntax.

The study argues that negation is not a syntactic category on its own; rather, it is one of the values of a more abstract syntactic category, named E, which includes other sentence operators, such as affirmation and emphasis (Chapter 2).It is also argued that the syntactic feature [negation] surfaces in other syntactic categories besides E.

In particular, the existence of (N] (negative) Complementizers is defended; this acounts for a range of phenomena in various languages: across-the-clause licensing of Negative Polarity Items in English, the ditribution of the -nik complementizer in Basque, and the nature of Dubitative Subjunctive in Romance (Chapter 3).