Intonation, bias and Greek NPIs

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This paper explores question bias in questions with negative polarity items(Ladusaw, 1979; Krifka, 1995; Giannakidou, 2011) by means of a perceptionexperiment. For the purpose of the experiment the Greek emphatic andnon-emphatic NPI kanenas ‘no-one/nobody, anyone/anybody’ are used. Theexperiment tests two hypotheses. The emphatic NPI in a negative polar questioncreates a bias for a negative answer. So listeners are expected to answerwith a negative answer rather than with a positive answer when they listen toa question that contains an emphatic NPI (Hyp. 1). The non-emphatic NPI ina negative polar question creates no specific bias for an answer. Positive andnegative answers are expected to be equally chosen by listeners (Hyp. 2). Bothhypotheses were verified.


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