LLF – Bât. ODG
Jong-Bok Kim (Kyung Hee University, invité Labex EFL)
Responses with negative dependencies
Answers to polar or wh-questions license negative expressions like nothing in English (e.g., A: What has he done before and since? B: Nothing/*Anything. A: What are you not telling me? B: Nothing/*Anything.) Unlike English, there are so-called negative concord (NC) languages like Romanian, Italian, and French in which n-words alone (e.g., nimeni in Romanian) can function as fragment answers even though they must be licensed by an overt sentential negator (Giannakaidou 2006, Weir 2020). Licensing negative expressions as fragment answers has been quite challenging to both move-cum-delete sentential analyses and direct interpretation analyses. The most prevailing account for NC words as fragments is to take NC words as inherently negative or as bearing some NEG features together with sentential sources (Haegeman & Zanuttini 1996. Zeijlstra 2004). This lecture discusses empirical as well as analytical issues for such an inherently negative analysis, based on the behavior of negative dependent expressions in Korean, which is typologically different from Indo-European Languages. The lecture suggests that a more viable analysis is to directly license such expressions in fragment answer environments and allow for the tight interplay among lexical semantics, syntax/semantics, and context involving conventional implicature.