Licensing Negative Fragments and the Interpretation of Comparison
This paper uses Bošković's feature checking analysis of negative concord to propose a solution to the problem of apparently unlicensed negative concord items in comparative/equative structures in Romanian. I will argue that a PFdeletion analysis of phrasal comparatives and equatives introduced by <i>ca </i>provides the structure against which Bošković's analysis can be successfully applied. Furthermore, the proposed solution also accounts for the impossibility of licensing negative polarity items in the same configuration. The key to the distinction in grammaticality appears to be the feature makeup of the negative concord item <i>niciodată </i>and the negative polarity item <i>vreodată</i>. In the last part of the paper, I also explore possible solutions to the remaining puzzle regarding variability in the NPI licensing properties of sentential and phrasal comparatives.