Meeting on January 30: Jon Gajewski (UConn Linguistics)

Our first meeting of the spring semester will take place on Tuesday, January 30, 11:00-12:00 in Manchester Hall Room 227. Jon Gajewski (UConn Linguistics) will be presenting his own work. Title and abstract below.


It’s not syntax, I don’t think: neg-raising and parentheticals

English allows a construction in which a sentence contains a parenthetical with a clausal gap, as in (i).  I will refer to phrases such as I think in (i) as clausal parentheticals.  Typically, clausal parentheticals cannot be negative, cf. (ii).

(i) There is beer in the fridge, I think.

(ii) *There is beer in the fridge, I don’t think.

It has been noted that when the clausal parenthetical contains a neg-raising predicate, an apparent doubling of a negation in the main clause is allowed, as in (ii).

(ii)           There is no beer in the fridge, I (don’t) think.

This doubling has been taken to be an argument in favor of syntactic approaches to neg-raising, as in Ross (1973) and Collins & Postal (2014). I will defend an analysis of the doubling in (ii) that is compatible with a semantic/pragmatic approach to neg-raising, as in Horn 1989, Gajewski 2007, Romoli 2013.