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Negative quantifiers in Hungarian

image of Negative quantifiers in Hungarian

This paper derives the properties of Hungarian <i>se</i>-pronouns from independently motivated assumptions, among them an adjunction theory of Q-raising allowing both left- and right-adjunction. <i>Se</i>-pronouns are identified as negative polarity quantifiers not conveying any negation, licensed by the negative particle. Based on results of Sur&#225;nyi (2006a,b), <i>se</i>-pronouns interpreted universally are analyzed as universal quantifiers, whereas <i>se</i>-pronouns interpreted existentially are analyzed as Heimian indefinites bound by existential closure. Universal and existential <i>se</i>-pronouns have different word order possibilities. The former, targeted by Q-raising, are left- or right-adjoined to NegP (either to the NegP dominating PredP, or to the NegP dominating FocP). Right-adjoined quantifiers participate in the free PF-linearization of postverbal constituents. Existential <i>se</i>-pronouns can be left in situ in the verb phrase, or can be focus-moved into Spec,FocP. The scope interpretation of <i>se</i>-pronouns is determined by the Scope Principle. The particle <i>sem</i> is analyzed as a negative polarity item, a minimizer to be preceded by <i>nem</i>, or to be fused with it.

  • Affiliations: 1: Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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