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ERIC Number: ED526443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 296
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-3630-9
"Not" in the Mood: The Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics of Evaluative Negation
Yoon, Suwon
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
The primary goal of the present study is to gain more insight into the phenomena of Expletive Negation. Chapter 1 starts with the observed hallmark properties of EN and theoretical backgrounds. In chapter 2, I show the pragmatic contribution of two scalar meanings of undesirability and unlikelihood. It is further shown that the base of scale denoted by EN may vary depending on the context or the epistemic subject's (the speaker or the matrix subject) emotional state, perhaps reflected in the tone of voice. In doing so, I propose that EN is not an imperfection or illogicality of language. Rather, EN represents another legitimate function of negation in natural language, where a negative element is adopted for the purpose of circumventing a commitment to a truthful statement and combines this with an attitude. This makes it similar to the subjunctive mood. Chapter 3 offers a critical review of two predominant camps on theories of evaluative negation--expletive approaches and non-expletive approaches. Taking more data into consideration, I provide empirical and conceptual arguments as to why prior theories require revision. First, it is shown that, contra the assumption of expletive approaches, EN does indeed have non-vacuous semantic contribution--evaluative sense that is represented as various kinds of scalar meaning. Second, the non-expletive approaches are unable to predict the variability that we find within a context and within a language. In chapter 4 I propose my analysis of EN as a mood marker. EN is a subjunctive mood marker, in particular, following the pattern of the mood choice in Greek that is regulated by nonveridicality (Giannakidou 2009). I discuss the parallels in the positive nonveridical environment in the scope of verb "hope". This is unexpected under any account that we have seen, and the fact that EN requires a non-factive complementizer and a subjunctive predicate in Korean and Japanese should come as no surprise. In chapter 5, I add a pragmatic component to the semantic analysis. I argue that EN contributes an evaluative dimension. This evaluative dimension is negative anticipation, undesirability or low likelihood. I show that EN in different environments exhibits a striking parallel in interpretation as an ordering relation. I propose to capture this by means of multidimensionality of conventional implicature (Potts 2005) (as refined in Giannakidou & Yoon 2009, to appear), and show how evaluative semantics of EN exists on a separate dimension from the semantic core of utterance. Contrary to previous views that dismiss the meaning of EN, calling it expletive, my proposal captures the precise role of EN in an utterance. If my analysis is correct, it has one important implication: It allows the generalization that various subspecies of EN in language are indeed part of the grammar. In particular, they are reflexes of grammaticalization of perspective and subjective mode, on a par with subjunctive mood choice and other subjunctive phenomena like metalinguistic comparatives as argued in Giannakidou and Yoon (2009, to appear). In chapter 6, I explore the syntactic configurations of subordinate subjunctive clauses and subordinate EN-clauses in Korean (and potentially Japanese). One of the questions that will arise is whether the matrix clause and the EN-clause in Korean are hypotactically or paratactically connected. This will inevitably involve the Germanic Embedded Verb Second (EV2). The dynamic syntax of EN (and subjunctive) complements that I propose affords the following theoretical implications: First, by revealing the parallels with EV2 constructions that are in subjunctive, the syntax of EN constructions further supports the current proposal that EN is a subjunctive marker. Second, it suggests that the syntax of EN complements in Korean can be understood along the lines of Jespersen's insight of paratactic negation in Old/Middle English. Third, it accounts for why the complementizer for subordinate EN clauses is in an analogous form with a question particle in Korean and Japanese. Finally, it furthermore supports the possibility that negation in tag-questions, which are classical paratactic configurations, can be understood as a subspecies of EN. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
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