Future-Directed Opining Verbs and Negation

  • Melanie Bervoets
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 102)


The exceptional licensing of strict NPIs in embedded contexts is often tied to the unexpected “Neg-raised” readings found when negating certain attitude verbs. Both phenomena arise (sometimes in slightly modified form) when stative future-directed opining predicates are negated as well, and here too their nearly identical distributions mount a strong case for a derivational connection. On α, the strategy that attributes to each future-directed opining verb an attestation element and a modal element, we are able to treat the traditional Neg-raisers and the future-directed opining verbs together with respect to this data, a move that takes advantage of machinery independently required, and one supported by a shared set of characteristics, including optionality, stativity, cyclicity, and the availability of wide scope existential interpretations. Along with these Neg-raising and future-directed opining contexts, habitual and overtly dispositional sentences make up a class that can be called the “Neg” environments, and treating them as a single group, we can evaluate whether existing accounts of Neg-raising have the resources to address the full corresponding range of unexpected negative readings. Due to the shape of these readings, and what appears to be a more fundamental tie between Negand opinion states than between Negand lexical items, syntactic accounts are less applicable than those rooted in the excluded middle inference of Bartsch (Linguistische Berichte 27, 1973). Among these approaches, pragmatic theories are better equipped to incorporate a critical reliance on relevance, required to understand the cyclicity patterns and contexts where two or more different Negreadings are available.


Negation Neg-raising Strict NPI licensing Opinion verbs Propositional attitude verbs Habituality Dispositions Implicature Exhaustification Relevance 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Bervoets
    • 1
  1. 1.TorontoCanada

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