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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2018, Vol. 49, No. 3, Pages 559-576
(doi: 10.1162/ling_a_00282)
© 2018 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Some People Think There Is Neg Raising, and Some Don’t: Neg Raising Meets Ellipsis
Article PDF (96.9 KB)
The interaction of Neg raising (NR) with VP-ellipsis (VPE) shows that if NR is a rule of grammar, then the conditions on VPE must be exact syntactic identity and must be insensitive to major semantic differences between the so-called antecedent and the meaning understood at the ellipsis site. In particular, the conditions on ellipsis must be so blind to the semantics that they allow a polarity reversal between the antecedent and the understanding at the ellipsis site. But the behavior of indexicals shows quite clearly that meaning is what counts for the understanding of VPE, not form. This in turn provides new evidence against a syntactic process of NR.