The Neg-Raising Phenomenon as a product of grammaticalization

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In this paper, we argue that the Neg-Raising Phenomenon (NRP) is a product of grammaticalization. Support of this argument comes from similarities to epistemic parentheticals which are themselves derived through grammaticalization. Both epistemic parentheticals and NRP have a hedging function of toning down the main clause assertion. Consequently, conditions on the subject and the predicate are also similar. Furthermore, they manifest two main characteristics of grammaticalization: decategorization and phonetic reduction. Looking at NRP this way, we can delimit more precisely the predicates that allow for NRP. Furthermore, it is possible to explain why seemingly synonymous predicates in different languages (e.g. <i>think</i> in English and <i>kangaeru</i> in Japanese) sometimes differ in NRP predicate status.


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