Anja Neukom

Anja Neukom

Prof. Dr. M. Hundt

Quantifier-Negation Interaction in English and German: A Comparative Corpus Linguistic Study

This project is concerned with sentences of the type all NP V not (with the universal quantifier all as part of the subject NP), as exemplified in sentence (1). Such ALL…NOT CONSTRUCTIONS can be interpreted in two distinct ways, depending on whether negation has wide or narrow scope (sentences (2) and (3), respectively). There is also a third alternative, called the collective reading (COLL; cf. sentence (4)).

  1. All the bills don’t amount to $50.
  2. Not all the bills amount to $50. (NEG-Q wide scope negation)
  3. Not one of the bills amounts to $50. (NEG-V narrow scope negation)
  4. The sum of all the bills does not amount to $50. (COLL collective)

While constructions like (1) have received a lot of attention in the theoretical literature, there is the need for an empirical corpus linguistic study that can determine the actual occurrence and use of such sentences and their various readings in natural spoken and written English. The results for English will also be compared with another corpus linguistic study of such constructions in German.