Scope of Negation and Negative Polarity Items in Japanese

Masakazu Kuno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is commonly believed that Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) in Japanese must be c-commanded by a sentential negation marker in the same local domain. The book under review challenges this common belief, taking up three kinds of NPIs (rokuna-, sika- and wh-mo-NPIs), and claims that the latter two must occur outside the scope of negation. The present paper reviews this claim and points out a couple of problems from the viewpoint of where negation is expressed in a sentence with an NPI. It will be shown that rokuna- and sika-NPIs, unlike wh-rao-NPIs, constitute a semantic locus of negation, hence a different grouping emerges. A solution will be suggested to reconcile this apparent contradiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-549
Number of pages22
JournalEnglish Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • ellipsis
  • negation
  • negative polarity items
  • scope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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