No more than 20 years

Variant title
Ne víc než 20 let
Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2016, vol. 64, iss. 1, pp. 41-55
Extent
41-55
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type
Article
Language
English
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
This article discusses differing interpretations of constituent negation in Czech and English. It empirically focuses on negated comparatives containing numerals as exemplified in the title. The English negated comparative has exact semantics (sentence like "No more than 30 people showed up" is true in a situation where exactly 30 people showed up), unlike its Czech translation (sentence like "Ukázalo se ne více než 30 lidí" would be true in any situation where the cardinality of people who showed up lies in the interval from 0 to 30), hence I call the Czech interpretation of comparatives containing numerals interval. This seems to be a fact about Czech constituent negation as testified by a corpus study reported in the article. I explain the cross-linguistic difference in the constituent negation in the following manner: the Czech constituent negation is semantically interpreted as denial, it is not exhaustified pragmatically, consequently the interval reading results; English negated comparatives are interpreted through pragmatical strengthening, consequently they receive the exact semantics.
Document
References:
[1] Corver, Norbert – Zwarts, Joost. 2006. Prepositional Numerals . Lingua. 116(6), pp. 811–835. | DOI 10.1016/j.lingua.2005.03.008

[2] Dočekal, Mojmír – Strachoňová, Hana. 2014. Freedom to Choose Alternatives . In: Zybatow, Gerhild et al., eds. Slavic Grammar from a Formal Perspective. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 131–146.

[3] Fox, Danny – Hackl, Martin. 2006. The Universal Density of Measurement . Linguistics and Philosophy. 29(5), pp. 537–586.

[4] Geurts, Bart. 1998. The Mechanisms of Denial . Language. 74(2), pp. 274–307. | DOI 10.1353/lan.1998.0264

[5] Hackl, Martin. 2000. Comparative Quantifiers . Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

[6] Horn, Laurence R. 1989. A Natural History of Negation . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chierchia, Gennaro. 2013. Logic in Grammar: Polarity, Free Choice, and Intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[7] Krifka, Manfred. 1999. At Least Some Determiners Aren't Determiners . The Semantics/Pragmatics Interface from Different Points of View. Vol. 1, pp. 257–291.

[8] Linebarger, M. C. 1987. Negative Polarity and Grammatical Representation . Linguistics and Philosophy. 10, pp. 325–387. | DOI 10.1007/BF00584131

[9] Nouwen, Rick. 2008. Upper-Bounded No More: The Exhaustive Interpretation of Non-Strict Comparison . Natural Language Semantics. 16(4), pp. 271–295. | DOI 10.1007/s11050-008-9034-2

[10] Schulz, Katrin – Van Rooij, Robert. 2006. Pragmatic Meaning and Non-Monotonic Reasoning: The Case of Exhaustive Interpretation . Linguistics and Philosophy. 29(2), pp. 205–250. | DOI 10.1007/s10988-005-3760-4