April 13th: Lisa Bylinina (Leiden University) – Utrecht

We are happy to announce that on Thursday, April 13th, Lisa Bylinina (Leiden University) will give a LUSH talk in Utrecht. We hope to see you all there!

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Time: 15:00 – 16:30

Location: Utrecht, Drift 23, room 107

Speaker: Lisa Bylinina

Title: Splitting Germanic n-words
Dominique Blok (Utrecht), Lisa Bylinina (Leiden), Rick Nouwen (Utrecht)


Constructions with an intensional verb and the n-word ‘geen’ in Dutch routinely lead to split scope readings: readings where the intensional verb ostensibly scopes between negation and an existential quantifier, as in (1).
 (1) Je hoeft geen stropdas te dragen.
      You must-npi geen tie to wear.
     ‘You do not have to wear a tie.’
We consider the phenomenon of split scope to be the general availability of these kinds of readings. English ‘no’ does not have this property: ‘You have to wear no tie’ does not have the lack of obligation reading.
Observing a number of other differences between ‘geen’ and ‘no’, we claim that there are two kinds of n-words that modify nouns in Germanic: ‘geen’ in Dutch (and its counterparts in German, Frisian, and Icelandic) are degree quantifiers that consist of a negative and a numeral meaning component; ”no’ in English (and its counterparts in e.g. Swedish) are not. We argue that the split scope phenomenon is tied to degree quantifier movement and is essentially a degree phenomenon. For this reason, split scope manifests itself in languages like Dutch but not in languages like English.

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