The Distribution and Interpretation of Welsh N-Words
Robert D. Borsley and Bob Morris Jones
Like many languages, Welsh has a set of n-words, nominal or adverbial
elements which seem to be semantically negative. There is a variety of
evidence that these elements are indeed semantically negative. However, a
sentence with two n-words may have a single negation interpretation.
Unlike their English counterparts, Welsh n-words have a restricted
distribution, being excluded from certain contexts and licensed in various
others. A storage-based analysis of the kind that has been developed
within Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) can provide an
illuminating account of this data. The analysis involves two main ideas:
(a) that negative elements can only have certain clausal constituents as
their scope, and (b) that a sentence with two negative elements can have a
single negation interpretation if and only if they have the same scope.